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UPDATE: West Fargo Mom Charged in the Death of Newborn - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

UPDATE: West Fargo Mom Charged in the Death of Newborn

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UPDATE

Charges have been filed against a West Fargo woman in the death of her newborn child. An arrest warrant is now issued for 32-year-old Reanne Rose Pederson in the death of her four-day-old son. Late Thursday afternoon, prosecutors filed charges against Pederson for Negligent Homicide and Ingesting a Controlled Substance.

This is a story Valley News Live has been pursuing for weeks after a viewer called in a tip about the infant's death. Investigators can now say the baby's death was not by natural causes. Court documents obtained by Valley News Live say Pederson snorted hydrocodone.  At their home on the 2900 block of 7th Street West on June 13, Pederson then passed out while breastfeeding the infant, suffocating him.  He died on June 14 after spending a day on life support at Essentia Hospital.


The Assistant State's Attorney Leah Viste is handling the case, but couldn't disclose many details directly after the charges were filed.

"I myself am not going to make that statement other than to say we believe we have cause to move forward with the charges," Viste explains.

Viste says Pederson could go to prison for five years on the negligent homicide charge. 

West Fargo Police, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Cass County Social Services and the Cass County Coroner's Office have been involved in the investigation.

ORIGINAL STORY

Information is now available from a weeks-long Valley News Live investigation involving the death of a newborn in West Fargo. West Fargo Police are investigating the death of the four-day-old boy and now say charges are possible.Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop has been pressing West Fargo police for weeks after a concerned viewer asked us to investigate the death. The viewer tip indicated that the baby died while the mother was breastfeeding the child. Police would not confirm that detail, and would only say the newborn did not die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

The West Fargo Police Department says early in the morning of June 13, officers were called to a report of an infant not breathing at an apartment in the 2900 block of 7th Street Southwest.

"The child was found not to be breathing by a parent and they then contacted 911 prior to the transport," explains Detective Derek Cruff. 

Officers say they began CPR on the scene after finding the infant not breathing and without a pulse. F-M Ambulance transported the infant to Essentia Hospital, where the newborn was placed on life support and died the next day.

West Fargo police say they are investigating this death due to the circumstances of the call. They tell Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop that drugs were found in the apartment during the investigation.

Police have been working with child protective services throughout the investigation. Two other children under the age of 12 were in the home and are now staying with other family members.

Police say with the investigation and autopsy completed, the case will be forwarded to the Cass County State's Attorney for consideration of charges. If the State's Attorney decides to press charges, investigators say the mother would face a charge of negligent homicide. Stick with Valley News Live for updates on this case.

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