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Autopsy can't determine cause of infant's death

Posted December 16, 2009

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— An autopsy couldn't determine the reason why a 3-month-old Jacksonville girl died at an Apex home in October, the State Medical Examiner's Office said Wednesday.

Autumn Rose Naimi died on Oct. 11 while she and her mother, Nicole Lynnette Richards, were visiting a home in Apex, police said.

Richards found the baby unresponsive in her crib and called paramedics, who were unable to revive the child, witnesses told police.

A few days later, Apex police charged Richards, 23, with involuntary manslaughter in her daughter's death.

The only signs of trauma found during the autopsy were several rib fractures, which the medical examiner said were likely from efforts to resuscitate the child.

The medical examiner noted that the child was born prematurely and had suffered thyroid problems, which might have contributed to her death. He said Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also was a possible cause of death.

Apex Police Capt. Ann Stephens said prosecutors will have to determine whether to drop the charge against Richards in light of the autopsy results.

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  • Familymatters Dec 21, 2009

    Still nothing new on this one I guess?

  • this is fdup Dec 16, 2009

    I am sure there is more to the story than what it said here. to be charged with invol manslaughter it could also be a case of neglect or failure to supervise

  • yellow_hat Dec 16, 2009

    Alwyas keep this in mind - arrested does not mean gulity. Quite often the police are a bit overzealous.

  • MileageWarrior Dec 16, 2009

    "He said Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also was a possible cause of death."

    Can't even imagine the pain of losing my child....or how much more that pain was unleashed after being falsely accused of having something to do with the death of the child.

  • djkelly Dec 16, 2009

    From the earlier story there's no mention of any evidence or reason for the arrest.

    Losing a child like this is unimaginably difficult but to then be arrested a few days later is beyond words. A rush to judgement in cases like this is inexcusable.

  • Kelondris Dec 16, 2009

    OMG! As if the mother was not already devastated by the death of her child and then get arrested for murder. They had no evidence to begin with on this and should have waiting for the ME. There are times when a infant dies from SIDS and not murder. She is going to need some serious emotional therapy to help her get over this. Sending prayers her way!!

  • SkepticalGirl Dec 16, 2009

    I really hope this little baby died of natural causes. If not, mama will pay later down the road. That being said, I think they should have waited to charge her until after the autopsy. Knowing someone who lost a child to SIDS, and had to deal with DSS, I can only imagine her added pain if the child died naturally.

  • rescuefan Dec 16, 2009

    How sad that she was charged before they had a cause of death (or lack thereof).

  • itsmyownopinion Dec 16, 2009

    LE should have waited for the autopsy before making the arrest. What was the big hurry?

  • passport423 Dec 16, 2009

    According to the related story linked to this story, doesn't look like they had much when they arrested her back in October.

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