WATERVILLE — State police are still awaiting test results that may determine why an infant died nearly three months ago at the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter on Ticonic Street.

Waterville police were called to the shelter May 18 for a 12-week-old baby who had stopped breathing, Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said at the time. Efforts to revive the infant were unsuccessful.

State police took over the investigation with help from Waterville police. Rumsey said he was told results of the investigation could take months.

State police Sgt. Anna Love echoed those sentiments.

“The process takes, sometimes, quite a while because we’re waiting for test results, whether or not it’s toxicology or samples that are sent out,” she said recently. “It just depends on the circumstances of the case.”

The state Attorney General’s Office requires that deaths of children under three be investigated by state police and the state Medical Examiner’s Office, according to both Love and Steve McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

Rumsey said when police arrive at a scene and determine there’s been a death that fits certain criteria, they call state police in and at that point, state police assume primary responsibility for the case.

“We work with them in a support capacity,” Rumsey said.

When the investigation is complete, state police will report the results to Waterville police.

“The information is communicated back to the police department or municipality or sheriff’s department, if it occurs in their jurisdiction,” Love said.

The medical examiner chooses the labs to which samples are sent, depending on the type of testing done, she said.

The homeless shelter’s director, Betty Palmer, said at the time that it was a tragic incident and every attempt was made by shelter officials, emergency workers, police and hospital personnel to revive the infant.

“It was his time, and he went to sleep and did not wake up,” she said at the time.

Neither Palmer nor police would release the baby’s name. Palmer also said she could not discuss whether the baby had a family living at the shelter at the time of his death, but that the shelter does not take children or infants without an accompanying adult.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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