Washington County

Washington County father facing charges after baby found not breathing, later died at hospital

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — A Washington County father is facing homicide charges after his baby was found not breathing in his home and later died at the hospital.

According to the criminal complaint, Peters Township police responded to 148 Pleasantview Drive for a report of an infant not breathing on May 23. The baby was unresponsive, lying on the floor and his skin had a bluish hue. He gasped for air once before he appeared to stop breathing again.

Jordan Clarke, the baby’s father, told officers that he fell on top of him. He later said he was carrying the baby and was in the process of getting a baby bottle with formula when his foot caught on a grocery bag and he fell with the child in his hands.

The criminal complaint said that officers spoke to the baby’s aunt, Ashley Clarke, and grandfather, Robert Clarke. Ashley Clarke told an officer, “I don’t know, I didn’t see it. I just heard him scream ‘call 911′ and he said he wasn’t breathing.”

Robert Clarke also said he didn’t see what happened.

An officer saw blood begin to bubble from and collect on the baby’s nose before EMS arrived to take him to the hospital. He was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he died the next day.

According to the criminal complaint, on May 27, police received a copy of the UPMC Child Advocacy Consult, which said in part that the baby’s injuries were “gravely concerning for physical abuse.” It also said that the child “has no evidence of underlying medical condition which would result in these injuries. This constellation of injures is not consistent with the provided history that this child’s father fell onto him from a standing height.”

The doctor who wrote the report said the baby had subdural hematomas over both sides of the brain, multiple layers of retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and in all four quadrants and possible fractures to both tibias.

Jordan Clarke is facing one count of criminal homicide, three counts of aggravated assault of various degrees and one count of endangering the welfare of children.

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