UIPD, Coroner, State's Attorney waiting on autopsy reports of infant death

By Vivienne Henning

The death of an infant born at Bousfield Hall is still under investigation by the University of Illinois Police Department and the Champaign County Coroner.

The autopsy of the infant is undergoing further examination at the Champaign County Coroner Office under the supervision of Coroner Duane Northrup.

The cause of death for the infant is still unclear, but the final autopsy will give more information to the police about how they should proceed with this case. The State’s Attorney Julia Rietz is waiting for the police reports to proceed with the case as well.

A typical autopsy case takes between 30 to 60 days to complete, Northrup said.

“Under normal circumstance, barring any unforeseen situations that may arise or additional testing or anything that may need to be done,” he said. “That includes getting all our results back from the labs and the final autopsy results from the pathologists and any information that may be needed from the police.”

“We’re still waiting on results from testing for lab samples that we’ve sent out,” he said.

On the evening of Sunday, March 13, officers went to a University residence hall to check on a student who had reportedly been in the bathroom for several hours with claims of having the stomach flu, according to a UIPD press release. The officers were sent away, but returned later to investigate further, they found evidence of a possible birth in the bathroom.

The officers located the student walking around campus, who confirmed she had, in fact, given birth earlier in the day. They moved her to the U of I Public Safety Building.

The deceased infant was found in the backpack the student was carrying with her.

“(The death of the infant) could’ve been something accidental, it could’ve been something natural, or it could have been something else. We just don’t know, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Patrick Wade, UIPD Communications Specialist.

Since the start of the investigation, the UIPD has been in communication with people who may be able to offer up any information about the case and what had been going on with the student before the events of March 13.

Wade said he wanted to make clear that there are resources available, such as the Counseling Center, for those who were affected by this case.

“I know there were people who may have known (the student), and may have known what was going on, and we want to make sure those resources are available,” he said.

Students can make appointments with the Counseling Center at 217-333-3704 or visit their website. For help after 5 p.m., dial 217-359-4141.

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