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Say What Now? Infant’s Decapitation During Delivery at Southern Regional Medical Center Ruled a Homicide


The Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that the death of a baby decapitated in a hospital has been ruled a homicide.

via: FOX 5 Atlanta

Jessica Ross, 20, was rushed to the hospital in Riverdale after her water broke on July 9, according to a lawsuit filed by the family.

The baby — Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr.—reportedly became stuck due to shoulder dystocia. Dr. Tracy St. Julian allegedly tried for hours to deliver the child vaginally. Shortly before midnight, the decision was made to perform a Cesarean section and the infant’s body was delivered. The head was delivered vaginally.

The lawsuit claims that Dr. St. Julian did not tell Ross and her family about the decapitation when she spoke to them at approximately 5 a.m. on July 10. The lawsuit also claims the hospital discouraged Ross and the baby’s father, Treveon Taylor Sr., from seeking an autopsy, saying a free autopsy was not an option for them under the circumstances. Instead, they reportedly encouraged the couple to have their son cremated instead of being sent to a funeral home.

When Ross and Taylor demanded to see and hold their child, the baby was reportedly tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head “propped on top of his body” to conceal the fact that he was decapitated.

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The family was ultimately told about the decapitation by the funeral home, according to the family’s lawyer.

Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home also contacted the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office on July 13.

An investigator was assigned to the case and reached out to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office to ask for help from its Pediatric Forensic Pathologist team in performing an autopsy, which took place the next day.

After reviewing the preliminary results of the autopsy, investigators reached out to the state agencies overseeing the doctor and nurses who were on-duty during the birth.

The Clayton County Police Department also launched its own criminal investigation.

The Southern Regional Medical Center released a statement after the incident saying the infant’s death occurred “in utero prior to the delivery and decapitation.” They also said that the doctor who delivered the baby, Dr. Tracy St. Julian, is not and “never has been” an employee of the hospital.

The lawsuit asked for Ross and Taylor to be compensated for the suffering and death of the child and the “tremendous mental and physical anguish and trauma” experienced by Ross, who was awake while the doctor was attempting to remove the baby.



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