The parents of a baby who tragically lost his life during birth are accusing the hospital where the incident occurred of trying to hide what happened.
Jessica Ross was initially told on July 10, 2023, that her baby didn’t make it through delivery at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Ga. But three days later, after leaving the hospital, she and her partner, Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., found out something much worse: their baby had been decapitated. This shocking information came to light in a complaint reviewed by PEOPLE.
“They didn’t tell us anything about what happened to our baby,” explained Cory Lynch, a lawyer representing the family, during an interview with PEOPLE. “We had no idea.”
The family first took legal action in August, claiming that the hospital had been negligent. Then, on Tuesday, the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office officially labeled the cause of death as a homicide.
While this sounds serious, it’s important to understand that a homicide ruling doesn’t necessarily mean someone committed a crime. It just means that someone’s actions led to the baby’s death.
During a press conference the next day, Lynch and his colleague Roderick Edmond alleged that hospital staff tried to hide the truth when the couple asked to see their baby. They tightly wrapped the baby and positioned his head, making it seem like everything was okay.
“It’s like they were trying to cover up what really happened,” said Edmond.
Brian Byars, who heads the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office, confirmed that his office was shown a photo of the tightly wrapped baby.
“They made the baby look healthy and normal,” Byars said.
The family also claims that hospital officials encouraged them to cremate the baby and said they didn’t need an autopsy. This made them think the hospital was trying to destroy evidence.
According to a press release from the medical examiner’s office, they only found out about the decapitated baby because the funeral home told them, not the hospital.
“We believe the hospital should have told us about this,” said Byars. “We needed to know what happened.”
Byars also said his office told the police about the baby’s death as soon as they found out.
After the ruling that the death was a homicide, Southern Regional Medical Center declined to comment because of the ongoing lawsuit.
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