INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The deaths of three young children in Indianapolis have been ruled homicides.
The victims range in age from less than a month to six months old. Criminal charges of battery and child neglect resulting in death have been filed against the father of the 1-month-old boy.
The other child deaths have not yet resulted in arrests, but experts say everyone can learn from all three cases.
In the middle of June, police were called to a north side apartment building and found a 2-month-old girl unresponsive. The infant died in the hospital. Her death is now being called a homicide.
A small memorial of stuffed animals sits outside a home on Indy’s near southeast side. That’s where a 6-month-old girl stopped breathing and later died last week. Detectives also deemed her death to be a homicide.
Just one week earlier, police were called to the Harrison Grove Estates on the west side and found a 28-day-old boy not breathing.
According to the affidavit, Michael Gaunt repeatedly denied abusing his son, but doctors ruled the child had brain injuries and broken bones and died as the result of likely being shaken and thrown.
“You know, it’s not easy taking care of young children and babies. They cry and we don’t know what they need. It is stressful,” said Sandy Runkle-Delorme with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
The three cases don’t appear to be connected. Sandy says all parents need to know it’s okay to ask for help raising a child or to offer help to others, and always recognize signs of stress among caregivers.
“You know, for whatever reason, people have this fear asking for help. They think people will think they’re bad parents, but everybody needs help,” said Runkle-Delorme. “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help because if not, look at what the consequences can be.”
Anyone who needs information finding resources available to help with raising a child can always call 211.