Cops: Child Found Dead After Couple Put Mattress Over Crib

Authorities say mattress was held down with rock salt, bungee cord
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2017 7:49 PM CDT
Cops: Child Found Dead After Couple Put Mattress Over Crib
Justin Dwyer and Courtney Stash   (Mugshots)

A Pennsylvania couple was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in connection with the death of their 2-year-old son in April. Penn Live reports Justin Dwyer, 29, and Courtney Stash, 28, called 911 when they found their son Eoin unresponsive in his crib on April 25. During an interview three days later, authorities say Dwyer's 8-year-old son told a detective what may have caused his brother's death. According to Fox News, the boy reportedly told the detective Dwyer and Stash would put a mattress on top of Eoin's crib, weigh it down with two 50-pound bags of rock salt, and secure the whole thing with a bungee cord in order to keep Eoin from crawling out.

But that's not all. Authorities say the boy told the detective he overheard Dwyer and Stash talking about how Eoin's neck had been trapped by the mattress on the morning he was found dead. A coroner ruled Eoin died from asphyxia caused by "entrapment between crib and overlying twin mattress secured by bungee cording." Police found a mattress and rock salt near the crib, which had marks consistent with those from a bungee cord hook. WGAL reports Stash and Dwyer have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and endangering the welfare of children. Their other children—Eoin was one of a set of triplets—are living with relatives. An attorney for Dwyer says the couple should not be charged for what was "a tragedy and an accident." (Read more child death stories.)

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