Shamokin Baby’s Cause of Death Still Unknown

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SHAMOKIN -- The Northumberland County coroner said late Tuesday afternoon that the autopsy on a two-and-a half month old baby from Shamokin didn’t reveal a cause of death.

But according to court papers, the baby’s parents found the infant not breathing while their one year old was sleeping on top of him.

Right now, police are not saying whether any crime has been committed and neighbors and close friends say they have more questions than answers.

Along South Market Street in Shamokin neighbors say this quiet street is a bit shaken. Police say a two-and-a-half month old infant, Navaydius Marciniak, was found unresponsive inside a home.

Melissa Mains lives just down the street and says she didn’t know the infant’s mother or father and neither did many of her neighbors.

“Apparently they just moved in not long ago. People are always moving in and out,” said Mains.

According to court papers, the infant was sleeping on the floor when the parents, Turquoise Johnson and Daman Marciniak, awoke. They say their one-year old child was sleeping with his legs on top of the infant.

“Let's just hope it wasn't nothing that they hurt the baby,” said Mains.

Nicole Williams has a 19-month-old of her own and lives just down the street. She says the whole incident has upset her, too.

"My heart aches for the family, and it's sad because I have a little one myself and if that ever happened to me I'd be really sad,” said Williams.

Shamokin Police removed blankets from the home and say they found bed bugs, which spread into one of their cruisers. Neighbors say this home has trash piled up outside. It has a history of code violations.

Those who knew this family say the death of their baby has been devastating, and that they need all the support they can get during this difficult time.

“I can't even describe it; it's got to be hard. I don't know how else to describe it. They're great parents and they just lost a baby,” said Sarah Long.

Long is a close family friend who’s sister was living in the home with the couple. She says Johnson and Marciniak loved all three of their children.

“They were both excellent parents. It makes me mad that people are judging them and rumors are spreading. It's not fair because they didn't do nothing wrong,” said Long.

Officials say it could take up to 18 weeks to determine a cause of death. The family also suffered the loss of a six-month old baby girl two years ago who died from sudden infant death syndrome while sleeping with an adult.

The coroner says the two children didn’t have the same parents, but were related.