Baby Silas’ Aunt: “I’m Angry!”

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OLYPHANT-- In family pictures 10-month-old Silas Sorak appears to be happy and healthy.

However Friday night the 10 month old died, two days after his mother's boyfriend allegedly slammed him into a crib inside a home on Delaware Avenue in Olyphant.

Prosecutors say Eddie Widdick was inside the house with Ashley Nelson's five children as well as two other kids he was babysitting, when he got angry at and forcefully threw Silas down, hitting the baby's head on a metal crib. Investigators say they found bruises on five of the other children.

Silas' aunt Tiffany Kowalewski says her family was worried about the safety of the baby boy, his twin sister Charlize and their siblings.

"Living environment ,bruises, they were not being taken care of the way children should," she said.

Kowalewski says her family tried to get help before it was too late.

"They had contacted children and youth, nothing was ever done, it is a difficult situation, there are a lot of mixed emotions,"she adds.

A spokesperson for Lackawanna Children and Family Services tells Newswatch 16 they can not comment on the specifics of the case.

Kowaleski was seriously injured in a car wreck last September and never had a chance to meet her 10-month-old nephew.

"I would have liked to have met him at some point. I would have liked for my kids to have met him. My mother lives in Montana, she never even got to meet her nephew, and now none of us ever will."

Widdick is facing charges for injuring the baby, but those may be upgraded following an autopsy.


  • bremda

    they need to pass a law, that if a parents child is harmed by a boy friend or girlfriend, that parent needs to have same charges……these parents hook up w any one. they need to be held accountable for whom their children is around…..if she was a good parent she would not be associated with that type of person……shame, shame, shame on her…

    • Guest

      My heart aches to think that little baby suffered that much pain! And those poor other children! What kind of mother leaves all those kids in the hands of a random boyfriend? It’s not even the babies father so of course that scumbag has no bond to these children! So he could care less if he hurts them or not! I sure hope the mother loses custody of those kids and they go to homes where there actually taken care of! Bruses on all those children, smh! It seriously breaks my heart! The mother shouldn’t have had that many children if she couldn’t take care of them! Shame on her for not being a responsible parent and leaving those kids with a dirt ball like him! And now all the family come out of the woodwork for their lowsy 5 min of fame? Seriously? You mean to tell me u haven’t met these kids or seen them but u noticed in the past the conditions of house? And the abuse? How did you see all this when you haven’t even met the kids that almost a year old? Sounds like BS to me! I think you didn’t want people asking why didn’t u do anything about it? So ur excuse is “You Tried” BullCrap!!!!!!!!! Your whole family should be ashamed of urself and now u have to live with this ur entire life! When that baby doesn’t get to grow up or live his life! Rest easy baby boy❤️ Your in a better place sweet little angel! Xo

      • Not So Quick to Judge

        Youur assumption that if Eddie had been Silas father then the bond between them would have prevented him from hurting the baby….this is just ignorant. Everyday we see on the news that a blood related father or mother has starved, beat, or killed their child.

        I have personally experienced what Ashley is going through, but luckily I saw something was wrong with my daughter before he killed her. Her father was mild mannered, seemingly loving of her. At 10 weeks old I brought her to the ER for “fussiness” is what they wrote down. Turned out she had 4 broken ribs, one was an old break. Which I had also taken her to the doctor twice at that time because she cried when she got the hiccups, I was told it was acid reflux. When I asked him why, his answer was, “You’re lucky you automatically get maternal instinct, I felt nothing for her”.

        Some people are capable of some very cruel things, Ashley, I know she is not. I’ve known her for over 10 years, since before children, before responsibilities, when she was proudly serving her country. All of you who judge her for “living off of the tax payers”, guess what…she fought for your freedom. She had 5 children, 2 sets of twins and a single, last I checked it wasn’t so unheard of to be pregnant 3 times. Ashley loved her children very much, just visiting her Facebook it was obvious. As far as the cleanliness of her house or extra bruises, and all the other details that seem to change on each news page…it’s all hearsay.

        At the end of the day a mother is without her child, a twin without her other half, and siblings without their brother. Everyone wants to suggest punishments for Ashley, well guess what….her baby is dead and her other children removed, there is nothing worse than the hell she’s in now. To all of you who think you have the right to judge her, you make me sick. Quit focusing so much on Ashley and put that responsibility where it belongs, on the real monster.

      • Guest

        Apparently you haven’t spent time with her since she was “proudly serving her country”, because she has been living in filthy conditions looooong before she started pushing out kids for child support and welfare checks. When you can barely afford your first kid, and continue to get pregnant then you are a dirtbag.

  • Lindsay

    Dear baby Silas,

    I’m not commenting on anyone else’s opinion on your death because it isn’t about them. They can feel whatever way they want to feel about each other’s comments. I just want to say this to you beautiful and insist little baby boy that I am truly sorry that you were hurt this way and robbed of your life. It’s not about us, it’s about you and the million other children out there who are cruely miss treated every second, minute, hour, day, month, and year that goes unnoticed. You were born into this world without a say as to who your parents were going to be and sadly not all are lucky to have loving ones. It is scary how anyone can give birth to such a gift. You deserved more little baby boy, but you will never be hurt again young one. My heart truly aches for you. As a mother to a beautiful little baby boy myself. I would go great lengths to make sure he would never get hurt they way you did and I am sorry nobody did the same for you. Your life may have been short on this earth, but it will never be forgotten little baby boy. You will always live on in my thoughts, as do so many other children. As I kiss my son goodnight tonight, it will be shared with all the young lost souls. Goodnight sweet Silas.

  • luvshorses

    The mom obviously knew she needed help, so instead of having family, perhaps taking the children to them to watch, (such as the aunt if the aunt could not drive), she chose to leave them with someone she was dating. We (collectively) can all relate to injuries, some have been seriously injured while taking care of children and survived. I will never understand why people who have that many children need to become involved with someone. I would think that caring for the children would be a full time responsibility. From the FB posts on the criminal’s wall, all he thought about was pot, partying and taking selfies. If the mom realized she was so far over her head, why not turn to the hospitals, surrender her children, go to the church, surrender them there. My thoughts would be the children first and if I knew I could not provide for them, would be doing them harm, I would, even though my heart would hurt, turn them over – better for them to be taken care of then dead. I truly don’t understand why anyone would choose to have more children if they were already unable to care for the ones that were already here – the mom is 30 and should have a little more responsibility to those who did not ask to be where they are. While I can sympathize with the pain of the loss of her child, it would have been lessened if she had surrendered them or not even had them rather than for them to die such a horrible death .. unable to even run or protect themselves. May God hold the poor child safe.

  • Jenp

    A mistake is she missed a doctor’s appointment, its not a mistake to leave your children with a dangerous man. The mistake here is that she had the need to have a man around and not think about her children’s needs first.

  • Chris

    My question is how do you put 7 children in a small dump like that??How many bedrooms is in that place.. maybe 3?? CYS should have been involved in the “living quarters aspect” from the start!!! R.I.P. Silas<3

  • Megan

    R.I.P baby Silas … this is such a heartbreaking story such a beautiful innocent baby . My prayers go out to the other children I hope justice is served for the loss of this beautiful babies life ….

  • michele

    Children & Youth is one of the highest funded agencies in Luzerne County, yet does a poor job of protecting our children. Apparently the same is true in Lackawanna County. Kids for Cash doesn’t seem to have taught us anything. Don’t blame the family. You can’t just take kids out of these homes or you’re the one going to jail. The police can’t or won’t help. I have personally called, written and gone to C&Y, pleading for help in regard to two little girls who need help and cannot get anywhere. They are in a similar situation to this news story. I worry myself sick and don’t know what else to do or where to turn. Aside from kidnapping them, which would put me behind bars, I and their grandmother have done everything we can possibly do. Yes, that includes calling the police!

    • Kathy Evans

      Yes,and they don’t come even when the cops call them.And the WB police came to my house and threatened to take me to jail.Believe everyone tries,no one listens.

    • Julia

      Michele- I was once told by a victims services worker that children and youth are not obligated to check out all reports and that the place to report stuff to is ChildCare. IT was a while ago , but i am almost positive that the name was child care. Look into this please, maybe online or in the phone book and make a report to them. Good luck and God Bless you for trying to help in this situation.

      • Lady Blue 1996

        PA law says that all abuse allegations have to be investigated. The C7Y agency has 24 hours from the report to set eyes on the child(ren). Child Line is the state reporting agency. From there the reports go to the appropriate counties for the intake dept to do the investigation. I know, I did my field work for C&Y and I have done it before !

    • Lady Blue 1996

      Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties have more than 20 open C&Y positions each and are on a hiring freeze..I know this because I have taken the civil service exam and I’m on the hiring list and have been for 2 years !! The money for those agencies comes from the state and have been cut WAY back…They don’t have as much money as you think !!

  • Robin

    I agree that no mother deserves to have her baby taken away in this matter let alone for any reason. But she had to see bruises on her other 4 kids. How can she ignore that? How in
    the hell can she not do something. This gets me so mad.

  • BitsB

    They are ALL scumb!! And what is going to happen is the community will be so “hurt” by this and with pity feelings will give $ to the family in hopes the other bruised children have something…it will probably go for more drugs or alcohol or whatever else greedy lifestyle choices this nasty family has made to reproduce but not provide except for a mere state check each month. I wouldn’t give a penny…I’m sure my tax dollars already do!!
    RIP Baby!!

  • Traci

    Oh the Aunt was in a car accident and too hurt so she couldn’t meet the twins (Salas has a twin), but could go on the local news and talk about how angry she is and how the family tried helping. SPARE ME! It’s a shame how WE the public need to be the voice of this poor baby. When his own mother should gave been as well as the family. It’s too late now isn’! I only pray the rest of the kids are not put back with their mother. They are the ones who suffer and will have this terrible tragedy with them the rest of their lives.

    • Kathy Evans

      Traci,unless you or anyone else haven’t been thru it,you can never understand.You have no idea how many times C&Y get contacted and how many times they dismiss you.I have a ton of people who thought they were doing just that,helping a child /children.We all have the same thing happen.I even had a Guardian at listen(children’s court appointed lawyer)that I paid for.,Write a letter and tell the judge the children no way should be with either parent.But the judge never received her copy.I was treated like garbage from all who work in the orphans court.And then I get a new letter saying that the kids should live one week with mom,one week with dad.And the children by children and youth say its alright for the girls to live in a trail or with a sheet seperating them from their father and girlfriend.I later found out because I had a fight with C&Y ,and MY Guardian at lietem happened to be a lawyer for C&Y.She should have never had anything to do with this case.Oh and the children were taken from their mom several times.She was threatened not to come near the kids.But the same people months later got new hires.No one checked mom out..Ask these little girls,where do you live?They don’t have a home they say.They look terrible when going to school.They get made fun of.And one says she’s stupid,and the other is acting out using the word murder her sister.And they are little girls 5 +8.

  • Jessie

    Apparently Ashley can’t handle motherhood. Stop having kids and bringing LOSERS like Eddie Widdick into the lives of your kids.

  • CCKM

    Lisa, the guy was a loser, and she was with someone who was barely an adult himself, and leaving a stoner to watch her kids, it’s not judgement, it’s reality! One of those so-called family members shoulda stepped on over and watched the kids while she was at the doc’s with her other child!

    • Lisa

      But, that’s what I’m trying to say. What if she didn’t HAVE anyone else to watch those kids for her? I mean, you heard the story yourself. The family was concerned, but they didn’t do anything. She is a single mother with seven children. I know single mothers who struggle with ONE child, let alone seven. Who knows how long she’s known Eddie? It could have been years. It was VERY bad judgement, yes, but as I said.. we weren’t there and we don’t know the complete situation.. Her situation is being looked at. Maybe she will get her children back.. maybe she won’t.. but I’m sure she is suffering terribly.. any mother who just lost her child would be.. and to add to that suffering by name calling? Pointing fingers and making bold statements that likely don’t have anything to do with the situation? What is the point? What good does it do besides hurt the family even more than they already are?

    • Jenp

      People need to take responsibility. The aunt was in an accident I understand but she certainly looked healthy enough on tv which leads me to believe she could have gone to meet her nephew or done something. Obviously right after her accident she has a legit excuse, I don’t think she has one now so she did nothing too. So she can try to justify it all she wants. The fact remains she did nothing. Also the mother left her children with a man she had to have known was a danger to her kids, a loving caring man doesn’t just turn violent all of a sudden like that. If she did not have family to care for the others then take them all with you. You obviously think you can handle that many kids. She’s not without fault here.

  • Marian

    If you read the story, they tried going through children and youth, with no success, and also, the aunt was involved in an accident and could not do anything. She must have known how the other kids were being treated, tried to get them help, THEN got into the accident.

  • CCKM

    Indeed! If I were family I would march in there, take the kids out and call police, but yeah, we coulda got arrested for that! Ashley was ex-Navy too huh, crazy. Tiff, what do you have to say about donna and lynn’s comments that no one knew a thing? Guy was a pothead, and so was she from what was discussed. Wasn’t that enough to get those kids out?

  • Jr.

    To linda its the truth it is a tradegy but like everyone is saying someone from that family should of step in and take care of those kids! U can look at it anyway u want its still murder and neglect period! N yeah the aunt is greiving but she hasnt even met her nephew how the hell does she know what was going on?!?! But u know what that little baby is dead now and we the public should be his voice!!!!

  • lindal

    Lisa, are you out of you’r mine. Help the family, well who helped that poor little baby. If the so called family would have stepped in maybe there wound not be a tragedy. Hope the other children are doing better now and not be sent back to her or other family member’s THAT would be a tragedy.

    • Lisa

      I’m not out of my mind. I’m not family, either. In fact, I’m more of an acquaintance. I’m upset and angered by what happened as well – and yes, that baby deserved way more than he got. All of those children probably deserve better than what they’ve got.. but what right have we to judge these people? Especially the Aunt, who it was clearly stated, was in a car accident and wasn’t able to get to the family. Why judge her, simply for an appearance she made on the television? Eddie is in jail and will never, no matter WHAT the consequences end up being, pay enough for what he did to that child. There is nothing in this world that will give him the hell he deserves for that… and no, maybe Ashley wasn’t the best mother in the world. All I am saying is that EVERYONE makes mistakes.. and instead of sitting here bitching about how awful this person and that person are, maybe we should do something about it… and part of that is learning to help others, treat each other as we want to be treated, and learning that it is not your place to sit and make judgement on situations we clearly do not know all the information about. Even the news station only gives so much information.. the rest ya’ll sit there and yammer about, making yourselves even more furious when you have NO IDEA what she is and was going through.

  • janet Hoffman

    Everyone can comment on this including the family but i am sorry i blame the family as well they should have done more they should have gone with the police when cys did not go there do not go on tv for fame so u can act like you cared if that would be my family i would have made sure i showed up and if i did not like what i saw i be on the phone with the police and would not have left till the kids were removed this is very sad and i cannot stand when family members try to make excuses you did nothing do not blame cys for doing nothing

  • Sara

    For a mother of 5 innocent kids be with a disgusting POS who beat her kids which she most likely knew was happening hence the bruises makes me sick. Ashley Nelson needs to have charges brought against her. She put that scumbag first before her children. A mother is supposed to protect ger children and not put them at risk. She along with that “murderer” are nothing but two losers! I hope she never ever gets those kids and he rots in prison for the rest of his life. Oh and for the Aunt on TV ” Go away” because your 2 seconds of fame us up. Your another piece of work!

  • Nicki

    That’s absolutely horrible. Something needs to be done about Children & Youth! This is the third time in the last yr I’ve heard stories of their negligence when abuse cases were reported. I’ve also heard of ppl in the dept tipping off these families before they go and inspect houses known for a suing children. Disgusting!

  • Patti Clifford Bartuska

    CYS and the judges are giving these children back to these parents constantly.Its a sin what these children suffer.What is wrong with these mothers.They are so desperate to have a man they will allow their children to be beat and murdered.CYS is useless everyone of those caseworkers should be ashamed of them selfs

  • Megan

    He is facing charges for injuring the baby…. So wrong his disgusting actions lead to the DEATH not a bruise , this poor 10 month old baby had no chance to stick up for himself , and now does not have a voice to speak for himself . Eddie widdick does not deserve charges for injuring he deserves charges for murdering an innocent 10 month old baby . Rest in peace Silas . Gone but never forgotten<3

  • joey

    if tiffany was so concerned she could of done something. But she didnt. now she is on camera saying woah is me blah blah. she wants a little camera time.

    • steve

      Unfortunately, Pennsylvania likes to put biology over what’s best for children. Aside from calling CYS there’s really nothing they could’ve done unless the mother agreed. CYS would also have most likely returned the child once the mother agreed to parenting classes and lied about no longer being the abusive man. They’re all about keeping family together. It’s cheaper than paying foster parents I guess.

  • krazy8)

    What a horrible thing to happen to that baby boy as a motherashley Nelson should rot for having children and not caring for them as a Mother should and Eddie widdick you piece of sh*t hope you get wats coming to you!

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