OGDEN, Kan. (WIBW)-- A six-month-old infant has passed away, several days after receiving fatal injuries at his home in Ogden. Police have his mother's boyfriend in custody.
Riley County police officers and emergency personnel responded Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM to an apartment in the Parkside Apartments on Seventh Street in Ogden for a report of a six-month-old infant not breathing. The infant was taken to Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan and then airlifted to to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for treatment.
Riley County police revealed that the baby was pronounced dead at Children's Mercy Hospital at approximately 5:30 AM on Monday, March 18, 2013.
Police have arrested Michael Patrick Dechant, 19, of Ogden, in connection with the infant's death. He's charged with Murder in the 1st Degree and Child Abuse. Officials say he was originally arrested Saturday for Aggravated Battery in connection with the incident but when the child passed away Monday, he was charged with murder.
Dechant is reportedly the boyfriend of the deceased infant's mother.
Officials would not discuss the nature of the baby's injuries but neighbors say they were told by officers that he was violently shaken. They said the baby boy was named Dominick and that the alleged abuse happened when his mother was at the store.
Mary Tompkins lives next door to the couple and said on Friday night, Dechant showed up on her doorstep with the baby in his arms. She did what she could to try to resuscitate the infant.
“It was really sad. He said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.’ So I grabbed the baby and laid him on the couch and I helped give him some air by breathing into his little mouth... It was God that really put me through it because I had seen it done before but I had never done anything like that myself. The baby was blue around the mouth and its little eyes were fluttering. I was scared. He was just limp and he wasn't really breathing," she said.
Tompkins says when she asked Dechant what happened, he told her the baby just started turning blue when he was babysitting Dominick and his older sibling.
"I feel like I lost a chunk of my heart and the only thing I can do is pray that I’m glad God has him in His hands so that he doesn’t have to go through anything anymore," she told WIBW.
John Fleener, owner of the Parkside Apartments, said: "This place is a good place. I’ve worked real hard at it but I'm heartbroken over what happened. It's awful."
Holly Collins, another neighbor, said she is devastated by what happened, calling little Dominick’s death a “tragedy.”
“He was the sweetest baby ever. His smile would light up a room. That baby had a life. He had a future,” she said.
Dechant's bond has been set at $500,000.