East Chicago man charged in death of infant son

2013-02-21T17:07:00Z 2013-02-21T23:24:02Z East Chicago man charged in death of infant sonSusan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
February 21, 2013 5:07 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Prosecutors on Thursday charged an East Chicago man with felony neglect and reckless homicide in connection with the death of his 3-month-old son.

Cesar Castaneda Sr., 29, told a Child Protective Services caseworker he was awakened about 1 p.m. Oct 10 by his son, Cesar Castaneda Jr., making choking noises, court records state.

Castaneda said he gently shook the baby to get him to stop choking and put his finger in the child's mouth to dislodge anything that might be choking the boy, court records state. Castaneda added the boy had been ill and vomiting recently.

Castaneda is alleged to have admitted, then denied, he had been frustrated by the boy's illness, later calling the caseworker to tell her he probably shook the boy harder to stop the choking than he originally told her.

The child's mother told police she worked days and was at work while her husband cared for the baby and the couple's other children. She further told police the child had breathing problems and cried a lot, which would irritate her husband.

An autopsy conducted by the St. Joseph County coroner's office after the boy died Oct. 17 determined the boy died from the result of head and neck injuries consistent with an inflicted injury, court records state.

The child had been airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital for further treatment from St. Catherine's Hospital in East Chicago.

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