Infant had stopped breathing days before - Quad-Cities Online: Iowa

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Infant had stopped breathing days before

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Posted: Sunday, October 4, 1998 1:00 am

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- An infant whose mother is accused of drowning him had stopped breathing nine days earlier and had to be revived by paramedics, The Des Moines Register reported Friday.

The newspaper also reported in the copyright story that the 2-week-old infant, whose body was found Sept. 20 in Saylorville Lake, had been weighted down by 25 pounds of rocks.

Heidi Anfinson, 38, of Des Moines has been charged with first-degree murder and child endangerment. She maintains that her son, Jacob, accidentally drowned in a bathtub, and when she saw his body, she panicked and dumped it in the lake.

Fire department records show paramedics had been called to the Anfinson home nine days earlier. When paramedics arrived, Jacob appeared to have stopped breathing, had turned a green, ashen color and seemed lethargic, a Des Moines doctor told the Register on Thursday.

By the time Jacob reached Iowa Methodist Medical Center, paramedics had revived him. Anfinson accompanied her son to the hospital, where he was kept for observation for five hours.

``His color was fine when I saw him. His vital signs were all stable,'' said Dr. Steven Dawson, a pediatrician who treated Jacob.

``I don't know if it was or was not related to his death,'' Dawson said of Jacob's visit to the emergency room. ``He was fine when he left here.''

Dawson said it was not uncommon for a seemingly healthy child to have problems breathing.

Defense attorney William Kutmus said the Sept. 11 hospital visit can be attributed to jaundice, which is not unusual for infants.

Kutmus declined to draw conclusions from the death certificate disclosure that Jacob was covered by rocks when found in a foot of water.

``You can't take pieces of evidence by themselves to make a complete conclusion,'' Kutmus said Thursday. ``I'm confident that in the end, my client will be vindicated.''

Authorities have not received test results that may show if Jacob died in bath water or if he was alive when he was dropped into the lake. The tests may be finished next week.

Authorities also are awaiting autopsy results from the medical examiner, which will show the extent of the child's injuries.

Anfinson, who is free on $125,000 bond, appeared Thursday in Polk County Court. She is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 4.

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