Coroner says cause of baby’s death undetermined

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Parents say they were made to feel like murderers

KENSINGTON - The chief coroner has ruled the sudden death of a baby boy in November was the result of sudden unexpected death in infancy.

Wiley Ryder Adams, six months old, of Kensington was found unresponsive in his parents' bed at 3 a.m. Nov. 16. He was pronounced dead at Prince County Hospital an hour later.

“The cause of death is undetermined and the manner of death is undetermined,’’ Dr. Charles Trainor said in a statement released Friday afternoon.

Trainor says the autopsy of six-month-old Wiley Ryder Adams states no obvious anatomical cause of death was found. The toxicology report was also negative.

However, the scene investigation carried out by the RCMP forensic unit and the Kensington Police uncovered a number of risk factors, including cigarette smoking and bed sharing.

Trainor says the baby was in bed with his parents. The parents awoke around 3 a.m. on Nov. 16 and found the infant unresponsive. The infant was rushed to the Prince County Hospital where he could not be resuscitated.

Trainor concludes that because risk factors were found in the scene, this was not a SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) death.

“This is a sudden unexplained death in infancy (SUDI), which is death of an infant under one year of age where the autopsy does not identify a cause of death, but the investigation (examination of the scene, the police investigation, review of clinical history) reveals positive findings,’’ says Trainor in his coroner’s statement.

“These findings do not definitely establish a cause of death, but exclude the diagnosis of SIDS.’’

Trainor cautioned that bed sharing where the infant is in bed with the adults is a very dangerous practice.

“I urge all parents and caregivers to avoid this practice when caring for infants,’’ he said.

“We have a SIDS/SUDI death every one to two years in the province,’’ added Trainor. “These deaths are very tragic to the families and to society. Removing all risk factors will lower the rate of SIDS/SIDU in our province.’’

The parents could not be reached for comment, but the baby’s father gave an interview to TC Media last month that The Guardian and Journal Pioneer are reporting now for the first time.

Nathan McKellar, 40, spoke on how the deep grief over the sudden death of his son was more than excruciating enough for him and his long-time girlfriend Angie Adams. Undergoing heavy interrogation from police and enduring public wrath, he added, has made the ordeal practically unbearable.

McKellar says he and Angie Adams cherished their six-month-old son. The pair had tried for a long time to have a baby and little Wiley was a true joy in their lives.

“He was beautiful,’’ says McKellar.

The world of early parenthood came crashing down for the pair on Nov. 16.

McKellar says his girlfriend woke him up saying something was wrong with their baby. Wiley was not breathing.

McKellar says he tried to resuscitate his son.

With the shock over their baby’s death very raw, the Kensington police treated the pair to what McKellar describes as a brutal interrogation. Separated by police, both McKellar and Adams were questioned for more than 16 hours.

“They were questioning us like it was a murder,’’ he said.

Police then took the couple to a hotel for two days while the apartment was, in McKellar’s view, turned into a crime scene. He says the RCMP forensic unit removed blankets, pillows, sheets and toys.

“I know we didn’t have anything to do with it," he said. "I know we had nothing to do with the death of our son.’’

Trainor says investigating the sudden death of an infant requires a thorough process.

“The police have to do a scene investigation,’’ he said. “There are all kinds of questions that have to be asked.’’

McKellar says since the tragedy, each time he and his girlfriend are out in public they have been made to feel like evil people who have each committed an unspeakable act.

“You live in a small town we get the looks all the time,’’ he says.

“The people that know us know that we loved our son and know we didn’t do it. We have a lot of support but we still have a lot of people looking at us.’’

Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland said he would make his final comments on the case next week.

 

newsroom@journalpioneer.com

 

Organizations: RCMP, Kensington Police, Prince County Hospital

Geographic location: Kensington

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Recent comments

  • Tara Turner
    February 04, 2014 - 16:54

    I grieve for this family as I do for mine. Wiley's case is so close to my sisters its scary. Her son also past-away the day before thanksgiving. Cause of death undetermined. My sister and her husband have lost custody of there other 3 children to the state of KY because they suspected neglect. Undetermined C.O.D. came in but they are still being treated as if they killed 2 month old baby Andrew. Why do parents of these children get treated so badly. No history of abuse or neglect, No criminal record and the kids WELL provided for. So why do these 2 sets of parents get treated like criminals. Is there no one out there that cares for the grieving family enough to say we made a mistake and we are terribly sorry? Is there no one in the system that has the balls to step up and say YOU CANT DO THIS TO THESE PEOPLE. Where are the answers?

  • A Grandmother
    January 19, 2014 - 23:41

    What? He does not! He is as cute as can be! What is wrong with you? Read the report or is that the problem you are so illiterate that you can't read? Good heavens let this little guy rest in peace and let these people grieve! Wow do people ever give anyone a break anymore? Pick pick pick. Remember.... Karma and glass houses.

  • MomOfTwo
    January 19, 2014 - 16:32

    To the "Mom" who says the baby looks scared - What a pointless and terrible comment to make! And that child most definitely does not look scared. I'm originally from Summerside, PEI and I know how the gossip train runs over there. My heart is broken that an innocent baby had to lose his life. But my heart is also broken for the parents of this child. Don't dare try and make these people feel like it's their fault their baby died because they probably had a smoke out the bathroom window late at night or something. Don't look at them like they're evil because they were probably so exhausted they took their young baby into their bed to sleep with them. How many parents out there can honestly say they have NEVER let their baby sleep in bed with them on a rough night? And a lot of parents do sneak a smoke in another room when they have children. Is the second hand smoke good for their child? Obviously not. Can co-sleeping have risks? Most definitely. Did these factors possibly contribute to the death of this baby? It's not impossible. But I imagine these parents are broken into a million pieces right now, and throwing these things back in their faces and making them feel terrible for them, it's not right. I wasn't there, I don't know these people, but based on the comments the father made it seems to me that he loved his child and never wanted any harm to come to him. People need to stop being so judgmental and learn how to have empathy for others.

  • Mom
    January 17, 2014 - 22:18

    baby looks afraid

    • PCFred
      January 19, 2014 - 21:40

      Seriously? Go watch tv or something.