SCRANTON -- A couple was charged in the death of their 5-week-old baby Thursday. In an emotional interview, the mother of that child called it a horrible tragedy.
Amanda Salvatori of Scranton had tears in her eyes as she spoke outside the Lackawanna County Courthouse in Scranton.
Salvatori and her fiance, Anthony Donvito, 26, of Scranton, are charged in connection with their infant son's death. They were arrested and arraigned Thursday.
According to investigators, the two had taken painkillers the night of January 21, falling asleep in bed with their 5-week-old son at their home on Colfax Avenue in the city.
When they awoke, they told police the baby was not breathing.
The child was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"I had to spring this news on them this afternoon. They didn't see it coming. And they're feeling awful. They've gone through the worst experience a parent could ever go through and then to find that someone is charging them criminally with that," said defense attorney Paul Walker.
Salvatori and Donvito have a three-year-old daughter together and police said when she was interviewed, the child said the baby was gasping for air that night. The little girl said she tried to wake her mother but could not.
"They should have had someone there that did know what they're doing if they couldn't take care of it," said Cynthia Egan who lives in Scranton and learned of the charges.
Salvatori said she didn't have drugs in her system. She calls the blood test results "a lie."
But detectives said the blood results are accurate and hospital officials confirmed the baby boy was born addicted to narcotics.
Salvatori said she cannot believe she and her fiance have been charged.
"I lost control. I wanted to hit somebody. It's just two people that they're trying to get caught up for no reason. I just want to get through this and live my life again. This is ridiculous. No one should have to go through this. I want to grieve the loss of my son," said Salvatori.
Police said they were called to the couple's home after the baby died.They say Donvito assaulted Salvatori after an argument over who was responsible for the baby's death.
An autopsy report showed the baby's death is consistent with SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome, but the doctor wrote that asphyxiation could not be ruled out.
Salvatori and Donvito are due back in court May 20.