Police probe Shamokin infant's death; autopsy set for today
SHAMOKIN - City and state police and Northumberland County Coroner James F. Kelley are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an 11-week-old boy Monday morning.
Navaydius D. Marciniak, of 349 S. Market St., was pronounced dead by an emergency room physician at 11:15 a.m. at Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital. Kelley said the infant was transported to the hospital from his home by AREA Services ambulance.
The coroner said an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. today at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown. The baby was born March 18.
"The case remains under investigation," Shamokin Police Chief Edward Griffiths said. "The cause of death will hopefully be determined by the autopsy."
He said it's too early to tell if it was suspicious or accidental.
"It's always tragic when an infant dies," he said.
Kelley said the boy resided with his 18-year-old father, Damon Marciniak; two brothers, ages 2 and 15 months, and other family members. The infant's 20-year-old mother, Turqoise Johnson, lives in Lewisburg, but was at the Shamokin home when the death occurred. She declined comment Monday afternoon outside her home.
Kelley said the victim, his parents and his two older brothers were sleeping in the same room when the death occurred.
He, too, said Monday it's undetermined if the death is suspicious or accidental.
Sleeping with siblings
At 10:28 a.m. Monday, emergency medical services personnel and police were dispatched to the Market Street home for a cardiac arrest call. When they arrived, they discovered the boy was unresponsive and not breathing. Patrolman Raymond Siko II assisted emergency personnel in transporting the victim to the hospital.
According to an affidavit that was part of a search warrant served by Patrolman William Miner, the child was sleeping on the floor.
Johnson told police she had woke up and gave Navaydius his "banky" because he was crying. She then went back to sleep.
Marciniak told police that when he woke up, he saw the 15-month-old's leg on top of the deceased child. He woke Johnson to have her check to see if Navaydius was breathing. Police said the boy's mother grabbed the child and found he was not breathing. Marciniak and then his aunt and uncle performed CPR on the child before calling 911.
The mother had described to police that when Marciniak woke her, the 15-month-old's body was "half way" on the baby, according to the affidavit.
While viewing the child's body in the emergency room, police and Kelley said they saw what appeared to be a "bruise or discoloration" on the right side of the victim's head. "This mark is undetermined at this time," Miner wrote in the search warrant affidavit.
Blankets and bedding were removed from the home for DNA analysis. Police reported there were "bed bugs" in the bedding.
Assisting Miner and Kelley at the scene were Siko, Cpls. Darwin Tobias and Jarrod Scandle, and Trooper John Knepp of the state police Records and Identification (forensics) Unit from Montoursville.
Miner conducted several interviews at the home and interviewed the victim's parents again at the police station early Monday evening.