Arrest Made in Schuylkill Haven Baby Death

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SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- After nearly a year of investigating, police in Schuylkill County finally made an arrest in the death of a baby.

Police released very few details about the death when it happened in Schuylkill Haven in June of 2017.

Amanda Vernitsky, 35, of Schuylkill Haven, was arraigned Wednesday at a magistrate's office in Orwigsburg. She's charged with third-degree murder.

Police say that last June, she killed a 5-month-old boy she was babysitting at her home in Schuylkill Haven.

Police say it happened on St. John Street in the borough.

They say Vernitsky told them the baby had fallen on the floor and was then unresponsive, but according to court papers, an autopsy found the child died from severe trauma to the head which police say could not have happened from a short fall to the floor.

People who live near where this death happened tell Newswatch 16 what they remember from that day nearly a year ago.

"It was so quiet and then we looked out and all of sudden, tons of ambulances and police cars here. Then we didn't hear anything about it for a long time," recalled Erin Muldowney. "It's a terrible tragedy and I know it definitely shook up this neighborhood. It's never something you want to hear."

Police say it took so long to charge Vernitsky because they were waiting for test results.

After her arraignment, Vernitsky was released without having to post bail. She has a hearing scheduled later this month.


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