Police: Aunt Choked Infant Niece Over Lack Of Sleep

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State police say a 25 year old Carthage woman choked her infant niece because the baby wouldn't let her get any sleep.

Amber Simpson of 232 North School Street is charged with manslaughter and assault in connection with the death of six month old Rachel Wood-Main.

During a news conference Thursday, state police said Simpson choked the baby at around 6 a.m. Tuesday because the infant had been fussy and crying.

"After this happened, she cared for the baby further, tried to give the child a bottle and went on about her business, but...until the medical call that night, we don't have any information that she knew the extent of the injury to the child," said Captain Mark Lincoln of the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

When asked if Simpson confessed to the crime, state police Major Rodney Campbell said, "Essentially."

Campbell said Simpson lived with her "significant other," identified as Joe Reape, and their two children.

Simpson had custody of her niece, police said.

According to Campbell, Simpson left Rachel in the care of Reape, who found the baby unresponsive at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

"The child then survived for roughly 14 or 15 hours before Mr. Reape contacted 911 and reported the situation," said Campbell.

Campbell said Reape called 911 and dispatchers instructed him to perform CPR on the infant until an ambulance arrived.

The baby later died at Carthage Area Hospital

According to police, Rachel died from a spinal fracture caused by choking action.

Simpson was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.

She was ordered held in the Jefferson County Jail on $30,000 bail.

Police said they would eventually release the names of Rachel's parents, but a woman identifying herself as the baby's mother posted a photograph on her Facebook page (left).

Christine Wood-Main wrote, "My baby girl died yesterday at 8:00 pm you will be missed Rachel love mommy and daddy RIP baby girl."

See our earlier report

 

Sunday, December 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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