Murder Charges Filed In Death of Baby

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SCRANTON -- A man from Lackawanna County is now charged with murder and may face the death penalty for the beating death of a 10-month-old child.

Eddie Widdick of Jermyn was arraigned Monday morning on first degree murder charges.

Widdick has been locked up since March when he was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting the 10-month-old child's head against a metal crib.

The baby died a day later, and now widdick's charges have been upgraded to murder.

It took medical examiners months to rule on an official manner of death for Silas Zorek, 10 months old, who died in March. Video from his mother's Facebook page shows Silas shortly before his death.

Baby Silas had several injuries on his body but an autopsy found it was a blow to his head that killed him.

His mother's boyfriend, Eddie Widdick of Jermyn, has now been charged with his murder.

"The number of contusion sites, or instances of abuse, this wasn't a one-time fall like Mr. Widdick initially claimed in his statement and we believe the evidence will bear that out throughout the process," said Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Jen McCambridge.

McCambridge says she's considering asking for the death penalty for Widdick who was charged with first and third degree murder.

"I believe we will. We certainly have to look at everything but the age of the victim is certainly a factor, an aggravating factor, and I believe going forward that it will be contemplated in this office," McCambridge said.

According to court papers, that day in March, Widdick was at his girlfriend's home in Olyphant watching her five children and two others. Widdick called 911 when Silas stopped breathing. He told first responders the child fell. Widdick later admitted he got angry and hit Silas' head on a crib.

Autopsy results show many more injuries than that.

The child's mother Ashley Nelson is not facing criminal charges, something her former neighbors in Olyphant disagree with.

"I think she should be charged as well. I don't think it's fair that she wasn't or nothing came out right away that she wasn't," said Kristie Hoover of Olyphant.

Investigators say the rest of Nelson's children have been in protective custody since the incident in March

Widdick is locked up without bail. He is expected back in court in a few weeks.


  • sheartman

    how is she at fault? did you ever think she didn’t know he was like that, didn’t know he would turn around and do something like that. you people make me sick why don’t you think before you write or say something out of your mouth.

  • sheartman

    wow look at all you sitting here typing down on people you don’t even know you should be ashamed of yourself I thought your parents taught you better. you guys are judging what you see on the tv or newspaper you have no idea about the family or even the situation. what you should be doing is praying for the baby (silas) siblings and that there ok or even praying for silas, or maybe saying good post for silas he is gone but in the family we have our good memories of him and hold them dear to our hearts. you sit here and talk down on the mom and stuff but do u have any idea what she or the family going through I bet not. this is a painful situation. yes the man is low for what he did. but for all of you to talk down is wrong. im 20 years old and im not like any of you talking the way you are its called respect get some.

    • Don Helowitz

      She is just as much at fault as he is. The baby is at peace now. May the mom and the boyfriend never be at peace.

  • luvshorses

    Unfortunately, Franko, I think you are right. Our society has become one in which we feel more compassion for those that commit the crimes than their victims. Nothing will ever bring that precious baby back, but in order to not let his death be in vein, we should / must hold the one that did this egregious wrong accountable. It doesn’t matter that the monster may have been disregarded, abused or came from a broken home. There are countless numbers of individuals who have lived that style and DID NOT follow in the same path, but CHOSE to be different, to be better. The thing that most who always hope to excuse away bad behavior is that each of us, whether we have had a bad upbringing or not, have a choice in life. We can either follow along in the footsteps of abuse, disregard, brokenness or we can chose to be better, different and caring. I am not saying it is an easy thing, but when frustration sets in, there is a choice to walk away until that anger / frustration ceases and then handle the situation. But, because we feel that we are “entitled” to better, that is when the anger takes over. I will never understand how anyone can hurt someone (baby, elder, handicapped, animal) that cannot defend itself and believe they did nothing wrong. I would hope, that in the memory of this sweet baby boy, the court/jury does what it must to make sure that they do not make it easier for those out in society who will see this monster getting a reprieve and think if they do something along the same line, nothing bad will befall them, so why not? The mother should be charged either as an accomplice or for reckless endangerment in leaving her children with a monster who obviously hurt them before as there were incidents where the other children had broken bones and bruises. If everyone in society would stop believing THEY deserve better, more, etc., and worry about the innocent they bring into a bad situation, it would be a better place.

  • Franko

    I am sure that this guy has an attorney who will plead insanity due to drugs or stress or blame it on suppressed anger issues from being from a broken home, or some bull like that — that’s what always happens… Someone kills a child and you get the accused lawyers blaming the event on everyone else and everything else in the accused life — Never blame it on the accused, never show remorse, and never take responsibility for their actions, and then later you find out that the person never wanted the kid.

  • luvshorses

    I too hope that he gets the death penalty, but in the end, the tragedy remains. An innocent, defenseless miracle of a boy was hit so hard and so often he did not get to live the rest of his life. There are so many people that should have seen the problems, so many should have taken steps to either get the mother to a point where she did not keep on having child after child without any means of taking care of them or a family to bring them into. So often in our society today, it is within the rights of the mother to continue becoming pregnant without anyone worrying if the child she is pregnant with will be taken care of and treasured, or if it is just another paycheck coming in from the taxpayers and allowing the parents to not spend the money as it was intended (on the welfare of the child) but on their own selfish means of enjoyment (drugs, drink, flashy clothes, vacations, etc). I am so sorry for the pain that this baby endured, and for having his life ended in this most brutal and heinous manner. He will never get the chance to find out one day that what he was born into should never be endured by anyone and that there is sanity and love in this world. I am glad that the other children are no longer with the mother, as I feel it would not be in their best interest. She obviously needs to have someone to have relations with more than she loves her children. There should be charges brought toward her also as she was the one that should have been responsible for the children and placed their safety in front of all other things and people. RIP sweet little baby .. I hope our justice system does the right thing and holds the monster who inflicted this death to the same thing… death. And I would hope that the mother of the children never gets them back unless she undergoes major counseling and mandatory sterilization. Because if you don’t care enough about the welfare of those you are giving birth to.. you should not be able to give them birth only to have it taken away so violently.

  • nicole

    The mother should be just as guilty for leaving her children home with this scum! Im sure there was signs he was not stable enough to be watching kids I’d never leave my babies with anyone BUT family. If I had no one to watch them id call off work and watch them myself theres no reasoning for this. PA needs to change alot of things. Children and youth need to worry more about serious situation rather than silly things like why kids are late for school if I recall the news saying back in march family had called cys on this mother and nothing was done?? Why…

  • EyE4Ni

    I would really feel good if the DA would seek the death penalty for this MUTT. 23 years is long enough for this POS to be breathing.

  • JP

    How old is this mother? The BF is 23 and she has five kids…seems like someone needs their tubes tied or equvalent. Five more kids for other people to support, even though we probably already were. Nothing against the kids, they didn’t ask for this life. PA needs to alter their adoption policy so some of these kids can go to good homes, where they have a chance at a decent life. Fast Eddie should get the death penalty.

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