Eugene baby's death being investigated as a homicide

EUGENE — A 4-month-old boy died last fall in an incident Eugene police detectives are investigating as a homicide.

Police generally don't wait to disclose basic information to the public after a suspected homicide. Investigators, however, kept the infant's death quiet for more than six months. Basic details were only released after The Register-Guard newspaper inquired about an unexplained homicide listed on an annual report.

Detective Ted Williams told the newspaper that releasing details would have "most definitely" harmed the investigation.

No arrests have been made in the case, which remains under review.

The investigation began when police were called to the child's home in southwest Eugene on Nov. 13. Williams said the infant had "significant brain trauma" consistent with having been violently shaken.

The baby lived with his mother and the woman's live-in boyfriend. The pair, whose names have not been released, were interviewed by detectives, Williams said.

It is "very unlikely" that the child's death was accidental, Williams said, but it will be the medical examiner's call whether the death is officially considered as a homicide. "We are working this case as if it were a homicide," Williams said.

It's unclear how long it will take a medical examiner to issue a final report, which will be forwarded to prosecutors for consideration of potential criminal charges, Williams said.

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