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Neighbors saddened by newborn's death

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Deputies respond to High View Drive home to find baby not breathing

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

MAURERTOWN -- The Thursday afternoon death of a newborn has left residents on High View Drive shocked and saddened.

Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said the 3-month-old baby boy was pronounced dead at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital shortly before 2 p.m. Thursday.

A news release from the Sheriff's Office says that deputies responded to 79 High View Drive for a report of a baby not breathing.

Resuscitation attempts were made at the scene, according to Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Chief Gary Yew, who wasn't on the call.

An autopsy will be performed, and investigators sought the advice of the medical examiner's office in Richmond regarding processing the scene, Carter said. He said the boy's mother is being fully cooperative.

"Hopefully, we will know a little more [Friday]," he said.

A 14-year-old girl made the call for help, Carter said.

Late Thursday afternoon, Sheriff's Office investigators were still at the home, a tidy ranch with a well-kept yard.

Thursday's tragic events saddened Gladys and Wesley Stinson, who live across the street. Mrs. Stinson was getting clothes off a line when she noticed fire and rescue vehicles arrive.

"When I seen a deputy pull over there, I told my husband, 'Something's not right,'" she said. "And then a real good friend of mine ... told me that the baby had died."

Mrs. Stinson, a bus driver for Shenandoah County Public Schools, said two children who live in the home are on her route.

"They told me when the baby was born," she said. "They were real excited about the baby. They're extremely good kids."

The Stinsons hadn't seen the baby, and didn't know their neighbors well.

"[I] feel so sorry for them," Mrs. Stinson said. "It's very heartbreaking when it comes to a child, especially an infant child at that."

Her husband knows the pain of losing a child. His son, Terry, was killed by a drunk driver in December 1985. He was just 14.

"You never get over it," Stinson said.

The family hadn't lived in the home very long, said Phyllis Kipps, who lives next door to the Stinsons.

"They pretty well kept to themselves," she said.

Kipps said she'd wave at a boy who lives in the home and was friendly to her.

"It's sad," she said.

Yew said rescue workers may request a critical incident stress debriefing team to talk about the trauma of working on the infant.

"Its one of the toughest incidents fire and EMS providers can run," he said.

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