Death of an Austintown Township infant a homicide


By JUSTIN DENNIS

jdennis@vindy.com

AUSTINTOWN

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled the death of an Austintown Township infant a homicide.

Gary Guenther, chief investigator with that office, said Wednesday 4-month-old Adaleah Sumpter died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The initial 911 call from the Sumpter home at 327 N. Roanoke Ave. indicated the infant had fallen and struck her head, but was still conscious and breathing, according to a dispatch log. Austintown police responded to the home after 6 p.m. Monday.

Adaleah died at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron, Austintown detectives said.

Austintown Detective Jeff Solic said Wednesday investigators have yet to file charges in the infant’s death.

“It’s still under investigation, to finalize everything,” he said.

Investigators await the infant’s hospital records as well as photos from the scene and witness statements, which will be scrutinized. Solic said Tuesday the infant’s father, mother and grandmother were at the scene when police arrived.

According to a police report obtained by 21 WFMJ-TV, The Vindicator’s broadcast partner, a man supervising the girl was tossing her in the air in a playful manner. The man told police he yawned, causing him to lose control of the child.

He said Adaleah struck her head on a nearby coffee table, tumbled to the floor – despite efforts to break her fall – and struck her head on two electronic cigarette batteries, according to the report.

The girl’s father, Christian Sumpter, 24, of North Roanoke Avenue, was arrested on an unrelated bench warrant after the Monday incident, but was released from the Trumbull County jail Tuesday evening.

Solic said Wednesday that Sumpter, the infant’s mother and others were involved in a fracas at his North Roanoke home soon after his release. Police responded again to the home but made no arrests, he said.

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