Coroner: Pa. tot who died in 1992 suffocated
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - June 7, 2012 (WPVI) -- A forensic pathologist says a 5-month-old suburban Philadelphia boy who died nearly 20 years ago showed signs of suffocation at his initial autopsy.
Montgomery County Coroner Walter Hofman told jurors on Wednesday that Ryan Baurley had liver, kidney, brain and voice box enlargement typical of suffocation after he died in August 1992 under the care of baby sitter Melissa Haskell.
Haskell is charged with third-degree murder. She denies killing the boy.
Defense attorney Frank Genovese suggested Hofman's finding was influenced by a recorded statement by Haskell that authorities say is an admission of the killing. Haskell's attorneys say the statement recorded by Haskell's estranged husband was coerced during a custody dispute.
A second prosecution expert agreed with Hoffman's suffocation assessment.
Baurley's death was initially attributed to sudden infant death syndrome.
norristown, montgomery county, pennsylvania, child death, local/state
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