Foul play suspected in death of child

PARKERSBURG – Police Chief Joe Martin said foul play is suspected in Tuesday’s death of a 1-year-old Parkersburg girl.

No one has been charged in the death of the child, who first-responders could not resuscitate after the 30-year-old man taking care of her called 911 to report the girl was not breathing.

The man is the boyfriend of the girl’s 21-year-old mother, and he was watching the 1-year-old and her nearly 3-year-old sister at the mother’s apartment on Central Avenue Tuesday morning when the incident occurred. He is not the father of either child, Martin said.

An autopsy for the girl has been pushed back to this morning, and Martin said it will go a long way toward determining the circumstances of the child’s death. The chief said it does not appear to be an accidental crib death.

“The 1-year-old didn’t die of natural causes,” he said.

Martin declined to release further details or the names of those involved at this time.

Police continue to investigate, conducting interviews with neighbors and others Wednesday.

“We’re trying to lift up every stone that we can to find out more,” Martin said. “We want to do everything we can to help the kids that can’t help themselves.”