Pennsylvania Woman Arrested for Death of 7-Month-Old Child

A Pennsylvania woman was arrested after her 7-month-old child went into cardiac arrest.

Julie Porreca, 18, who will turn 19 on June 30, is accused of giving her child Trazadone, an adult anti-depressant, according to the West Virginia State Police. 

The child was rushed to the hospital on September 4, 2016 and was pronounced dead later that evening, police said.

An investigation revealed that two days prior, the child was brought from Pennsylvania to Monongalia County to Porreca's father's home and had visible injuries consistent with intentional abuse at that time, police said. Porreca never provided medical attention for these obvious injuries, police said.

The child developed a significant fever, and Porreca said she provided him with children's fever medication. However, an autopsy revealed that the child also had Trazadone in his system, police said.

Porreca said the child stopped breathing on numerous occasions and was resuscitated the night before his death. The autopsy also revealed that the child had pneumonia, police said, and no medical attention was ever sought.

A medical examiner said a plausible relationship exists between the child's immediate cause of death, the pneumonia, and the effects and consequences of a small baby having been physically assaulted by a caretaker and having been inappropriately administered a medication that created a risk of death, police said.

Porreca is charged with child neglect resulting in death.

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