Present address: 15678 South Blackfeather Street, Olathe, KS, 66062.
CASE REPORT PATHOLOGY/BIOLOGY
Death of a 6-Year-Old Boy with Mental Retardation: Accident Versus Child Abuse*
Article first published online: 23 MAR 2012
© 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 4, pages 1124–1128, July 2012
How to Cite
Dudley, M. and Chapman, B. M. (2012), Death of a 6-Year-Old Boy with Mental Retardation: Accident Versus Child Abuse. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 1124–1128. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02079.x
Presented at the 36th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Medical Examiners, September 25–October 3, 2002, in Shreveport, LA.
- Issue published online: 2 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 23 MAR 2012
- Received 19 Jan. 2011; and in revised form 15 May 2011; accepted 4 June 2011.
- forensic science;
- cerebral palsy;
- positional asphyxia;
- multiple fractures;
- forensic team
Abstract: This case study involved death of a 6-year-old child with a history of mental retardation secondary to meningitis at 11 months, spastic quadriplegia, seizure disorder, and hydrocephaly with a remote ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement and gastric tube feedings. Reportedly, the child was co-sleeping with his mother when she awoke and discovered him lying prone and not breathing on the carpeted floor next to the bed. He was transported to the hospital and died in the emergency room of unknown causes. The medical examiner assumed jurisdiction of the body. The external examination revealed petechial hemorrhages on the neck and face, with patterned linear pressure abrasions on the chest, arms, and face. X-rays revealed leg fractures of different ages. This case emphasizes the importance of coordination of death scene investigation, medical history review, and autopsy results through a forensic team approach to determine the accurate cause and manner of death.