Wednesday, March 12, 2014
BATH – An investigation into the death of a baby girl from Bath continued Sunday as state and local police tried to piece together the events that led to her death.
Deputy Attorney General William Stokes, who serves as chief of the agency's Criminal Investigation Division, confirmed Sunday that an autopsy on the girl's body was performed by the state Medical Examiner's Office on Saturday. Stokes said he could not comment on the results.
Nine-month-old Jaelyn Malcolm died Friday night at Maine Medical Center in Portland after being transferred to the Portland hospital from Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick.
Stokes said his office, with assistance from Maine State Police and Bath police, is actively investigating the girl's death.
"By law, in all deaths of a child under the age of 3, we are required to conduct a full investigation," he said.
Stokes said that as of Sunday night no one had been charged or arrested in connection with the baby's death.
Stokes said an autopsy and full investigation are warranted in any case where an infant dies or is injured because infants are physically much more vulnerable than adults.
"The same medical rules that apply to an adult do not hold true for an infant," Stokes said. "It's important that we understand how an infant is injured or how they died."
Jaelyn was the daughter of Danielle Malcolm, 21, of 29 Windjammer Way in Bath.
Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police, could not be reached Sunday, but Saturday he said police interviewed Malcolm and her live-in boyfriend, Benjamin McNeill, after the girl's death.
McCausland said the baby's mother took the girl to the Brunswick hospital about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The girl was eventually transferred to Maine Medical Center.
"There are unexplained injuries to the child. She was in distress," McCausland said Saturday.
No one answered the telephone at Malcolm's residence in Bath on Sunday night.
"So tired of people asking if I need anything," Malcolm wrote on her Facebook page Sunday. "I just need my baby girl in my arms."
Stokes said hospitals, especially doctors and nurses, are "mandated reporters," which means they must report any suspicions surrounding a child's injuries to authorities.
"The theory is to err on the side of caution when a child is involved," he said.
Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at email@example.com