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Homicide investigators: McMinnville infant suffered 'abusive head trauma'

(Stock Photo)

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – Homicide investigators are looking into the death of a 7-week-old McMinnville girl who was taken to the hospital with “abusive head trauma” two weeks ago.

According to police, the infant’s injuries weren’t consistent with the explanation offered by her caregivers.

McMinnville’s fire and police departments were initially called out November 21 after learning that a child stopped breathing at a home on NE Irvine Street.

First responders tried to resuscitate her and she was taken to Willamette Valley Medical Center. She was later flown to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland with a traumatic brain injury.

She was later pronounced dead.

"We look at every death, especially if we are talking about an infant, fairly closely. As that information progressed it migrated to a homicide investigation," McMinnville Police Captain Rhonda Sandoval said.

Medical staff ruled that she suffered “abusive head trauma” and police are investigating her death as a homicide pending an autopsy.

"Abusive head trauma, as we defined it for this case, is a specific event that causes head and brain trauma. So this was not accidental in nature nor did it occur over time," Captain Sandoval said.

KATU News learned the infant's sister was also living at the home with their mother, and that the older girl's father petitioned for custody after learning of the baby's death. He told KATU News he feared for his daughters life.

Police are withholding the names of those involved during the open investigation.

If anyone has helpful information, they are asked to call (503) 434-2337.

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