WALKER, La. -- An Amsterdam native was recently arrested by Louisiana police in connection with the death of his infant daughter.
Franklin D. Finney, 23, of Walker, was charged with manslaughter May 15. The arrest came three weeks after the infant's mother, Kayla Depoy, 22 of Walker, found the child unresponsive in her crib at the couple's home.
Finney allegedly told detectives that while attempting to put the baby down for a nap April 19, "he became frustrated at his inability to console the crying child," Walker Police Captain John Sharp said. "Mr. Finney then admitted to placing his hand over the baby's mouth to stop her from crying. Mr. Finney stated that he did not realize the child was no longer breathing until Ms. Depoy entered the room and saw that the baby was unresponsive."
Sharp said officials responded to a 911 call at the couple's Ball Park Road residence, and after resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful, the child was transported by ambulance to a local hospital, where she was admitted in critical condition and placed on life support.
Upon admittance to the hospital, medical personnel were not able to determine why the infant stopped breathing, Sharp said.
"Medical records indicate that the baby was closely examined, and that a number of tests were performed in order to identify any previously undiagnosed medical conditions, or any signs of trauma or abuse which might have caused respiratory failure. Despite those efforts, no signs of trauma or indicators to suggest wrong doing were found, nor were any medical conditions discovered which could explain the baby's respiratory failure," Sharp said.
Because of the "unusual circumstances," Sharp said, the Office of Child Services was notified of the child's admittance to the hospital. Caseworkers interviewed both Depoy and Finney concerning the child's condition.
Walker Police were contacted by hospital officials and the Office of Child Services May 10 after Depoy and another family member expressed concern to medical personnel that Finney may have caused the child's condition.
"As time passed without identification of the cause of the baby's condition, and as it became apparent that she was unlikely to survive, consideration of previous events caused the infant's mother and other family members to question whether Mr. Finney might be responsible for the child's respiratory failure," Sharp said. "According to information we were provided, Mr. Finney was seen on a previous occasion placing his hand over the baby's mouth when she was crying."
During a period of three weeks, during which the infant displayed a lack of brain activity, her condition worsened. Consequently, the decision to discontinue life support was made, and May 13, the infant passed away.
Two days later, police contacted Finney, and he eventually admitted to putting his hand over the baby's mouth as she cried.
Finney remains in custody with bond set at $75,000. The matter remains under investigation.
Finney has been living in Walker since 2012, police said.
-- Staff report