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Police investigating death of 9-month-old boy

By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Post
Salisbury Police are investigating last Friday’s death of a 9-month-old boy.
Police were called to the emergency room of Rowan Regional Medical Center after Emmanuel Campusano Jr. was pronounced dead at 12:52 p.m.
Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said there were no signs of trauma on the child’s body, which was sent to the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office in Charlotte for an autopsy.
Wilhelm said any further action by police will probably depend upon what the medical examiner determines as the cause of death.
It’ll likely be two weeks before the cause of death is decided, Wilhelm said.
“We’re waiting on the autopsy,” he said. “There were no outward signs of foul play.”
Wilhelm said the child lived with his father, Emmanuel Campusano, and mother, Tana Maria Mings, at 923 S. Caldwell St. He said the couple are also the parents of a 19-month-old daughter.
Sandra Wilkes, director of the Rowan County Department of Social Services, said her department “is aware of the situation and working with the family.”
She confirmed there were no visible signs of trauma on the child’s body.
“There were no outward signs of abuse or neglect,” Wilkes said.
Barbara Sharpe, program administrator for the Social Services’ Child Protective Services branch, said the 19-month-old girl remains in the custody of her parents. She said the child would remain with the parents unless an autopsy reveals that they were somehow responsible for the baby’s death.
“So far, we haven’t seen that there is any risk to the sibling,” Sharpe said. “We have no way of knowing what happened to this child. If we get information from the autopsy that there was abuse, we’ll have to reassess the situation.”
Wilhelm said the child’s father told police that the baby was generally healthy, though he was born six weeks early and suffered with fluid on his lungs.
He said Campusano told police that the child appeared fine when he left the house to go shopping about 10:30 a.m. Friday. The child’s mother remained at the house with the two children.
The father reported getting a call at 12:28 p.m. telling him that EMS had been called to attend to the baby.
Wilhelm said the baby arrived at Rowan Regional at 12:37 p.m. and was pronounced dead 15 minutes later. Wilhelm said CPR was apparently being performed on the child while he was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Wilhelm said police are always contacted when there is an “unattended death” within the city.
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman @salisburypost.com.

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