Fairfax County police believe that a 38-year-old Centreville grandmother shook her newborn granddaughter so hard that she killed her. Accordingly, police have charged Heather Thomas of 14822 Millicent Court, in the London Towne community, with manslaughter.
The infant, Crissmis Noelle Reese Jones, was born Dec. 30 and was just five days old. "It's very sad," said police spokeswoman Mary Mulrenan. She said the child's mother is 19 and was in the home at the time of the tragedy. But Mulrenan didn't know if she was aware of what was going on. "Maybe she was resting," she said.
PARAMEDICS WERE called to Thomas' home, Jan. 4, around 6 a.m., because the baby was unresponsive. She was taken to Inova Fair Oaks Hospital where she was pronounced dead. According to police, "An investigation has determined that the baby died of head trauma due to Shaken Baby Syndrome."
They said Thomas turned herself in to the police last Friday, Jan. 13, shortly after noon. Mulrenan said Thomas was unemployed. She is currently being held without bond in the Adult Detention Center and has a Feb. 7 court date.
For more information about Shaken Baby Syndrome, see the Shaken Baby Alliance Web site at www.shakenbaby.com, or call 1-877-6ENDSBS. The Shaken Baby Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public awareness, supporting victim families and advocating for justice for the victims of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
<tgl> — Bonnie Hobbs