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Indiana County mother charged with homicide after allegedly smothering her 9-month-old son

Indiana County mother charged with homicide after allegedly smothering son
Indiana County mother charged with homicide after allegedly smothering son 02:57

INDIANA BOROUGH (KDKA) — A mother in Indiana County is charged with homicide after police said she's responsible for her infant son's death. 

Patricia Hullenbaugh, 21, is charged with homicide after she allegedly smothered her 9-month-old son to death and tried to cover it up.

According to the criminal complaint, on Jan. 6, police were called to an apartment in Indiana Borough for reports of an unresponsive child. The baby was taken to UPMC Children's Hospital, where he died five days later. 

During the investigation, police said Hullenbaugh told them she put the baby down for a nap in his crib and when she checked on him an hour later, he was hanging partially outside of the crib with his face down on the mattress. 

Upon further investigation, police said Hullenbaugh admitted to smothering the infant by applying pressure to his head and face area with a blanket. 

Then, according to police, the baby stopped breathing and Hullenaugh said she panicked and staged the slats of the crib to cover up what she did. 

She was taken into custody at work on Wednesday. 

"Since that initial call, members of the Indiana Borough police conducted a professional and thorough investigation with the goal of finding the truth," Indiana County District Attorney Robert Manzi said during a press conference on Thursday. 

Manzi said that the investigation is far from over. He is asking anyone who may have had contact with Hullenbaugh over the past few months to reach out to the police. 

"This is a tragedy on many levels. My heartfelt sympathy is extended to the infant's family, and my thoughts will remain with every person who will be forever impacted by this event," Indiana Borough Police Chief Justin Shaw said during the press conference. 

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