- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

ZWOLLE, La. (AP) - Autopsy results show that a 19-month-old Zwolle toddler died of positional asphyxiation from being wedged between a car window and door frame, the Sabine Parish Coroner’s Office said Monday.

Deputy Coroner Ron Rivers tells The Times (https://bit.ly/1B1CXV8) Robert E. Lynch died Sunday after being removed from life support at University Health in Shreveport. Rivers confirmed the cause of death and released the autopsy results Monday.

Rivers said it was still unclear how long the child was trapped as his mother drove an Oldsmobile Bravado from one family member’s home to another.

No arrest has been made. The case remains under investigation by the Zwolle Police Department and the coroner’s office. Police Chief Marvin Frazier says the decision on whether criminal charges will be filed will be left up to District Attorney Don Burkett.

“We are reviewing everything and getting it all prepared for the DA to make that determination,” Frazier said. “It’s just a tragedy at this point.”

Burkett said when he receives the report he will review all of the evidence and “determine what action I will take.”

The child was first hospitalized Saturday night after a 911 call was made to the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office reporting him as unresponsive. Zwolle police arrived first and performed CPR until paramedics with Med Express Ambulance got on the scene, Rivers said.

The child was transported to Sabine Medical Center then flown to University Health in Shreveport, where he was placed in the pediatric intensive care unit. The decision to end life support was made after no brain activity was detected, he said.

The child’s mother, identified by Frazier as Deunka Lynch, told police she had been at a family gathering earlier Saturday and when she left she put her son unrestrained in the back seat of her car.

As she drove to another relative’s house she reportedly told police she saw what her son was doing in the back. Once Lynch stopped the car, however, she found the baby’s neck compressed by the rear window and his head protruding outside. She had to restart the vehicle in order to lower the window and free him.

The mother speculated that as she drove, her son stepped on the window button allowing it to lower then stepped on it again and became trapped as it raised, Rivers said.

As of Monday, Frazier still had not nailed down an exact timeframe when Lynch drove from one location to another so it was still unknown how long he was caught in the window.

Frazier encouraged parents to ensure their children’s safety. “This is such a tragedy. You never think something like this will happen. They must use child restraints,” he said.


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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