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‘Blue’ baby taken from home

Courtney Astolfi • Apr 18, 2014 at 11:55 AM

Charges may soon be forthcoming for a couple who allegedly allowed a 9-month-old baby to remain unconscious and not breathing for almost half an hour in a Rye Beach Road home.

A 22-year-old Sandusky woman called a Bellevue-area doctor’s office at 1:23 p.m. on April 11 after her 26-year-old boyfriend discovered her baby girl unresponsive in her crib, Erie County detective Bob Rieger said.

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The child was not breathing, Rieger said, and her lips had turned blue.    The couple allegedly left the child like that until the office called her back 22 minutes later. Office staff told the woman to call 911 immediately, as she said the child’s coloring was not back to normal and she wasn’t acting herself, Rieger’s report stated.

The woman agreed to take her baby to the nearest emergency room, but two hours later, she still hadn’t checked in at Firelands Regional Medical Center, the report said.

The doctor’s office was unable to reach the mother by phone, so they called her emergency contact instead.

At that point, the contact stopped by the Rye Beach Road home, picked up the child and drove her to Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk.

Staff later transported the baby to a Toledo hospital for further treatment.

The mother told deputies she refused to take her children to Firelands because they twice “tried to kill her son” the report said.

At Fisher Titus, a social worker checked on the child. The baby had a black eye and a 2-inch pinch mark on her arm, Rieger said.

The emergency contact — who is a family-friend — told investigators this was not the first time she noticed bruises on the baby and her 1-year-old brother, but the mother and boyfriend always offered reasonable explanations.

The mother told her friend the child’s black eye appeared after she cried non-stop, and she believed it was the result of a popped blood vessel.

But when investigators told the mother the bruises were inconsistent with a popped vessel, she began to yell and asked if she was being accused of child abuse, the report said.

The woman then changed her story, saying her son may have thrown a toy at the baby, causing the bruises.

Social workers granted emergency custody of the child to her emergency contact and gave the woman’s other children to a relative, Rieger said.

The case was forwarded to the Huron municipal prosecutor for review. Charges could be forthcoming for both the mother and her boyfriend, deputies said.

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