Ft Payne Police along with DeKalb County District Attorney’s Investigators have opened an investigation into the death of a premature baby who was born at home and died about 12 hours later. According to Ft Payne Police Commissioner Ron Ogletree, it appears that the parents of Ava Brooke Tharp did not want medical help because of their religious beliefs. Ogletree said a call concerning a non-responsive newborn at a home on Wallace Avenue in Ft Payne came into dispatch last Sunday at about 2:00pm adding that Ft Payne Fire and Rescue workers arrived minutes later and were denied entrance into the home until police arrived.
The baby was apparently born at about 11:28pm Saturday, and died sometime between 12:00 noon and 2:00pm Sunday. According to Ogletree, the father said he delivered the baby, which was born approximately six to eight weeks premature. No arrests have been made but an autopsy is being performed on the baby with the results expected in approximately three months time.
DeKalb County District Attorney Mike O’Dell stated that once the investigation has been completed, the results would be turned over to a grand jury to determine if any criminal acts were committed.