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Death of infant probed

Not believed to be natural causes, authorities say

POSTED: August 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
Hall County sheriff’s investigators will meet with a medical examiner today as they continue to look into the Sunday death of a 7-week-old boy.

Maj. Jeff Strickland confirmed that the death of infant Chance Anthony Chapman is not believed to be the result of natural causes. He declined to release autopsy results pending further investigation.

"At this time, it does not appear to be a natural cause of death," Strickland said. "We have not determined whether the death was accidental or intentional."

He said no one has been identified as a suspect in the case, nor has anyone been ruled out as a suspect.
Strickland said a 911 call was placed on Sunday shortly before noon from the home of the infant’s maternal grandfather, Kenneth Chapman, at an address on East Hall Road. The baby was being cared for at the home while his mother was at work, Strickland said.

Kenneth Chapman and a female acquaintance, as well as several children, were in the home at the time of the 911 call regarding an unresponsive child, Strickland said.

Sheriff’s deputies and Hall County emergency medical technicians responded to the home, began resuscitation efforts and took the child by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, Strickland said. There was "no obvious cause of death" at the time, he said.

Late Monday, authorities received preliminary autopsy results from the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s office, which performs most Hall County autopsies. Those findings led investigators to look further into the circumstances surrounding the child’s death, Strickland said.

"We’re looking into the facts of what occurred leading up to the 911 call," Strickland said. "It is early in the investigation, and detectives have not ruled out foul play."

Funeral services for the infant were held Wednesday.



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