YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The woman charged with dropping her newborn baby out of a seventh-story window in the Bronx this week is now being investigated in connection with the 2008 death of another baby, authorities said.
The latest investigation is being led by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office. Jennifer Berry’s 2 1/2-week-old boy was found dead inside her Yonkers home in 2008. The medical examiner’s office attributed the death to sudden infant death syndrome, but the DA is taking another look following Monday’s deadly incident in the University Heights section of the Bronx.READ MORE: 82-Year-Old Dead, 5 Police Officers Among 7 Injured In Suspected Gas Explosion At Bronx Home
“In light of what has transpired, we will be reviewing that death again,” said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
The city medical examiner ruled that infant’s death a homicide caused by multiple blunt force injuries.
The wife of the apartment building’s superintendent found the baby girl’s body on the concrete outside. Her umbilical cord was still attached.
Berry appeared in court late Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to the felony charges. Her attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
Assistant District Attorney Georgia Barker said the baby weighed 8 pounds — the weight of a full-term newborn.READ MORE: Free COVID Tests Now Available Online Through USPS
“There was air in the lungs. This was a healthy baby girl,” Barker said in court, according to the New York Daily News.
Police questioned the father of the child and released him after he said he was in another room at the time and didn’t even know about the pregnancy, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.
As authorities continued their investigation, neighbors passed crime scene tape that was still tied to banisters in the seven-floor apartment building, and others left small keepsakes in a makeshift memorial in the lobby.
“Why did she do this? I’ll just never understand,” said Lourdes Ayala, who lives down the road. “It tugs at your heart as a mother. I just couldn’t believe it. There are just no words to describe how horrible it was.”
A cardboard box that held a small teddy bear, flowers and a bottle had a handwritten note that read: “Came into this life unknown, not knowing what would happen to me, I didn’t have a chance. May her soul rest in peace with God.”
The city’s Administration for Children’s Services is investigating the circumstances that led to the baby’s death.
Berry briefly worked for the child welfare agency from July 2007 until January 2008. The first three months were in classroom-style training, and the rest of the time was spent as a trainee and had limited interaction with families. It’s not clear why she stopped working there.MORE NEWS: Gov. Hochul Lays Out New Budget, Says New York To Make Historic Investments In Education, Infrastructure And Health Care
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)