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ELLWOOD CITY Pathologist fails to find cause of death for dumped baby



Published: Fri, June 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The body was too decomposed to determine if the baby was stillborn or born alive.

STAFF AND WIRE REPORT

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. -- A pathologist said he couldn't determine the cause of death of a baby whose body was found wrapped in a plastic bag Sunday in Lawrence County.

Matthew Mangino, Lawrence County district attorney, had said that, depending on the pathologist's findings, additional charges could be filed against an Ellwood City couple accused of concealing the child's death.

Kathleen D. Winterbottom, 19, and Jason L. Wilds, 23, remained in the Lawrence County Jail on Thursday on charges of concealing the death of a child, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy.

Anonymous tip: They were arrested and charged Sunday night after an anonymous tip led police to find the body of the baby boy in woods off a street in Ellwood City.

Dr. Karl Williams said Thursday the baby's body was too decomposed for him to determine whether the child was born alive or stillborn.

An autopsy on the infant showed he was full-term, Mangino said.

Police said Winterbottom told them that she gave birth June 10 at the apartment she shared with Wilds and that the baby was dead. Police say she and Wilds dumped the body near the house where she grew up. Authorities also said Wilds told them he saw Winterbottom give birth and believed the baby was dead.

Relatives and neighbors told police they suspected Winterbottom was pregnant but that she refused to admit it.

Police say the don't know if Winterbottom was unaware of her pregnancy or just concealing it from others.

Authorities said Thursday that more charges could still be filed notwithstanding Williams' findings.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 27 before District Justice Sam Battaglia. Both face a maximum of seven years in prison if convicted of all four charges.




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