Three Accused in Baby's Death | News
Nearly a year after a baby died, the child's mother and grandmother surrendered to police.
The mother, father and grandmother of a child in Northumberland County are facing charges following the baby's death.
Court documents show the one-year-old girl died last year because her body over heated.
Court papers state Anela Loner was left alone in her crib for more than 20 hours. The baby died in Sunbury last October.
Now, the three adults who were caring for her that day are all charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Bertha Dreese of Selinsgrove and her daughter, Heidi Yocum of Lewisburg both turned themselves in Thursday at Northumberland County court.
The two are now charged in the death of Yocum's daughter. The baby died on October 15 of last year, but the Northumberland County district attorney's office said autopsy results took months.
Neighbors on South Seventh Street in Sunbury said they are glad to see progress in the case.
"I think it’s good, its about time they do something it took them long enough. You know, over a year after to find something out, but I think it's a good thing," said Charles Urlich.
"I'm upset, angry you know? But we're going to let the law handle it and hopefully they get some prison time out of this," said Ward Hockenberry.
The autopsy eventually determined the baby's body overheated. She died in her crib which was next to a space heater in a closed room.
"It's an unusual cause of death here, hyperthermia from the heat in the room. We had to do some experiments actually to determine what the temperature was in the room and how that would affect decomposition, things like that," explained Assistant District Attorney Ann Targonski.
The district attorney's office estimates the temperature inside the baby's room was close to 90 degrees. Both Yocum and Dreese told investigators they were home in Sunbury with the child that day. Dreese was asked to spend the afternoon babysitting the one year old and Yocum's two other children.
According to court papers, Dreese told police the baby was already down for a nap when she arrived that afternoon, but no one checked on the child until 8:00 a.m. the next day.
"This is a clear cut case of neglect,of a one year old child, and we believe that the charges, the endangerment, these individuals all had a duty of care for this child and their conduct was reckless and resulted in the child's death," Targonski added.
The baby's father, Lopaka Loner, is also charged with involuntary manslaughter. Authorities said he put the baby down for a nap, left the house and never checked on her when he returned.
Loner is already behind bars on other charges.