Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Mohawk Valley

Woman arrested for infant's death

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Woman arrested for infant's death
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There are new details about the death of six-month-old baby in Carthage. The child was found dead on Tuesday. Police have since ruled it a homicide and made an arrest. Barry Wygel has more.

CARTHAGE, N.Y. -- It was around 6 a.m. on Tuesday when Amber Simpson, 25, admitted to harming six-month-old Rachel Wood-Maine.

"She strangled or choked the child. This occurred after she became frustrated with the child not sleeping and crying and keeping her awake,” said Maj. Rodney Campbell, of Troop B of the New York State Police.

Rachel was taken from her mother shortly after her birth by child protective services and custody was given to her aunt, Amber Simpson, and her boyfriend, Joseph Reap. Reap was the one who alerted authorities that something was wrong.

"He had cared for the baby that evening, went to check on the child and the child was unresponsive," said Campbell.

It was about 14 hours after the alleged choking incident that Reap discovered something was wrong and called 911. He attempted to do CPR, but the child was pronounced dead at the hospital.

"The cause of death was a spinal fracture, specifically a fracture of the C-1 vertebrae. Manner of death was ruled a homicide," said Campbell.

After the autopsy, Simpson admitted to choking Rachel, which led to her death. But police say Simpson's story led them to charge her with manslaughter instead of murder.

"We had no evidence that she intentionally killed this child. But by recklessly choking the child, it later resulted in the child's death," said Mark Lincoln, Captain of the Troop B BCI New York State Police.

Simpson and Reap have two other children, a five-year-old and a two-year-old. They remain in their father's care. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP