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Official: Autopsies shed little light on babies deaths

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga: Investigators say that preliminary autopsy results have failed to show a definitive cause of death for two infants who died last week in two separate Albany incidents.

District Attorney Investigator Gregory Blackmon said Monday that both autopsies revealed no trauma on the bodies of neither 3-month-old Antonio Harvey nor 4-month-old Travontae Goude and that the death investigations of both children will continue.

Police responded to Goude's home on the 2100 block of Leonard Avenue after his mother discovered the child not breathing and partially entangled in the mesh netting of his crib.

The next day, police responded to Harvey's home on Gillespie Drive where he was found unresponsive.

Blackmon said that the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Goude has asked to see additional photos and videos of the child's bed before making a determination in the case.

"There will be follow-ups done on both cases," Blackmon said. "Investigations are continuing on."

Discussion about the deaths spilled over into Monday's County Commission meeting where Commissioner Jack Stone said he was deeply troubled by the deaths and called for action from the District Attorney's office in investigating not only the deaths but the circumstances of the pregnancy.

"This hearts my heart to hear of these two babies dying and that one of their mothers was just 13! 13! That's a baby having a baby. It's just a crying shame," he said.

Blackmon said an inquiry has been made into the pregnancy of the Goude infant's mother and that contact has been made with the child's father, but because of his age the charge could only be a misdemeanor and the statute of limitations has expired.

Goude's mother, who is actually 14 according to police, along with the father, who is 15, violated Georgia law when they had sex, Blackmon said. But because he was only a year older than she was at the time, it would be the less serious misdemeanor and the window police would have had to charge him would have already expired.

The Goude case is the exception rather than the rule, according to Blackmon. Teen mothers rarely disclose the father of their children which forces investigators to get court-ordered DNA samples which are costly and take weeks to process, he said.

County Commissioner Muarlean Edwards said that a forum on parenting is being planned incorporating the District Attorney's Office, the state department of Family and Children's Services and other social entities but that a date has yet to be set.