State Removes Siblings From Home After Baby's Death

By Geoff Ziezulewicz on January 22, 2013 12:51pm 

 Five-month-old John Harrison Jr. was found unresponsive in his crib Monday night and was later pronounced dead.
Five-month-old John Harrison Jr. was found unresponsive in his crib Monday night and was later pronounced dead.
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DNAInfo/Michael Shin

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of neglect after a 5-month-old boy died Monday night.

The baby, John Harrison Jr., was found unresponsive in his crib by his mother about 6:40 p.m. Monday in the 2900 block of South State Street, authorities said.

He was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and pronounced dead there at 7:46 p.m. Monday.

DCFS spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said the baby’s five siblings were removed from the home on Tuesday morning.

Police are treating the case as a death investigation until autopsy results come in, officials said.

The baby’s mother, whom authorities would not identify, was investigated by DCFS in 2008 for charges of abuse and neglect, Whitelow said.

Her boyfriend at the time was also investigated, Whitelow said, although the “family configuration” has since changed.

DCFS confirmed those 2008 abuse and neglect allegations and provided “a wide range of supportive services” to the family, Whitelow said, including parenting classes and counseling for the mother.

Whitelow would not provide further details about the 2008 incident.

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