Officials Release More Information About Death of Six Month Old Odessa Baby

Officials Release More Information About Death of Six Month Old Odessa Baby
By Devin Sanchez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - The baby found dead at a home in Odessa, back in November, was actually injured just days before he was found dead.

An arrest was made in the child's death. One of the investigators in the case gave more information during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

"Detectives are finishing up cases against Caleb Givens for manslaughter and injury to a child," Sgt. Robin Smith with Odessa Police, said.

Sgt. Smith also gave information as to why an arrest wasn't made until this week.

"We were stalled by the autopsy," he said.

Sgt. Smith said prior to the child's death, the baby was taken to Medical Center Hospital for injuries to his mouth and bruising on his face. CPS was notified about the injuries but Smith said the police department didn't find out until after the child died.

"We were never made aware about the injury to the child, until the 27th, the day the child died, when we were doing our interviews," he explained.

Sgt. Smith was asked if the hospital is required to inform police about injury to a child.

"By law, you're required to notify CPS. The doctor that was attending to Jeremiah, did what he was supposed to," he said.

NewsWest 9 contacted CPS about the case and received a statement from spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner: "There is no simple answer to what happened. When CPS works with a family, we often have to make very tough decisions. Sometimes we are considering several plausible explanations as to how the injury occurred. We have to make judgment calls. When a parent appears to be cooperative and truthful, we want to believe them but sometimes they lie and sometimes that can have tragic results. Based on the information we received during the onset of this investigation, we believed we did not have grounds for removal of this child. We believed the child was not in immediate danger. A child's safety is always our paramount concern. The decision to take a child from his or her parents is not taken lightly and often times a household that seemed safe at one time can later become unsafe."

As far as the child's mother, who is a juvenile, whether or not she will face charges depends on the findings of the investigation.

"It's still under investigation. Like I said, the case is not completely closed," Smith said.

Smith also said he hopes to have the investigation wrapped up in the coming week.

Stay with NewsWest 9 with any additional information.