The parents of an infant that died in a New Jersey motel were charged with murder on Monday after their baby suffocated to death in a “time out” after he wouldn’t stop crying, police say.
William Herring and Brianna Brochhausen grew frustrated when their 4-month-old son would not stop crying and placed him in “time out,” according to a statement by the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.
The parents placed the infant face-down under the covers of the bed and then went outside to smoke, according to police. Upon returning 10 minutes later, they discovered that their son, Hunter, had stopped breathing and was unresponsive.
Paramedics and police were called to the motel room on Feb. 14 and took the baby to the nearby Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly, N.J. The baby remained on life support for more than two weeks and died on March 3.
Herring, 42, and Brochhausen, 22, were both charged with endangering the welfare of a child on March 9, but upon further investigation were charged with first–degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the prosecutor said.
“The thoughtless actions of these individuals ended up costing a defenseless 4-month-old infant his life,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, the New Jersey State Police superintendent. “I commend the detectives of our Homicide South Unit and Criminal Investigation Office for their commitment and dedication to finding justice for Baby Hunter.”
The parents of the baby had been living in the Hilltop Motel in Springfield, N.J., at the time of the infant’s death. The two were arrested on Monday and prosecutors urged other parents who struggle with stress to contact appropriate resources.
“The responsibilities of becoming a new parent can sometimes be overwhelming,” said Scott Coffina, the Burlington County Prosecutor. “Those who find themselves at a point of crisis when caring for a newborn child should know that help is available, and they must seek that help rather than taking actions that might harm their child.”
[Photo: Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office]