Babysitter, Muncie IN church sued for wrongful death of 4-month-old infant

Legal News for Indiana Wrongful Death Attorneys. A babysitter connected to two infant deaths in a period of 11 weeks faces charges and a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death attorney alerts- A babysitter and Westminster Presbyterian Church were named in a wrongful death lawsuit concerning the death of a 4-month-old infant.

Muncie, IN—A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a babysitter in connection with the death of an infant on Monday March 15, 2010. An area church was also named in the lawsuit after the pastor allegedly referred the babysitter to the deceased infant’s parents and failing to notify them that another infant died under her care less than three months prior to the death of their own baby, according to information provided by TheStarPres.com.

According to the suit, filed in Delaware Circuit Court 4 by parents Younghong Cheng and Hongjun Niu, 4-month-old Matthew Cheng was under the care of 43-year-old babysitter Tina Byrd at her home on January 19, 2010, when she reportedly positioned the infant to sleep on his stomach despite her alleged knowledge of the potential dangers posed in doing so. Byrd then apparently left the child alone in her home for an undisclosed amount of time. After the tragic incident was brought to the attention of police officials, Byrd seemingly proceeded to lie to authorities, concerning her true whereabouts on the day Matthew died in her home. According to the American SIDS Institute, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the “sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.”

The Westminster Presbyterian Church was also named in the wrongful death suit after Pastor Kris Holroyd seemingly referred the Cheng’s to Byrd though failed to mention a November 3, 2009 incident in which a 9-week-old infant, identified as John Wenninger, died while under her care. Reports also noted that on January 20, 2010, the day after Matthew Cheng died, “Westminster took the highly unusual stop of calling a press conference to deny any link to Byrd, including a denial that church staff provided references to Byrd.”

Byrd faces charges including neglect of a dependent, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice. Reports did not state the extent of compensation being sought out by the distressed parents.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Wrongful Death Lawyers.

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