ELRAMA, Pa. (KDKA) – A Washington County couple was arrested for allegedly shaking and critically injuring their baby.
Police say the long and intense investigation went on for nearly a year, but they finally caught up to the baby’s parents at their home Tuesday night, and now, the couple is at the Washington County Jail, unable to post bail.
Police say first responders were called to 43-year-old Wayne Hanbury and 25-year-old Natalee Vacca’s home in Elrama in September of last year because their then-four-month-old was unresponsive. “The initial call we believe was from one of the parents at the residence for the child being unresponsive,” said Monongahela Police Chief Kevin Harris.
Jamie Edwards lives across the street from the home where police believe the baby boy was abused. She said she’s happy to hear the child’s parents are in jail. Edwards, a mom to an 11-year-old daughter herself, remembers that day nearly a year ago when medics showed up. “From what I saw, I saw the paramedics carrying a baby, and you could tell it looked lifeless. At that moment, you get choked up. You have children, nieces, nephews, whatever,” said Edwards.
“It’s difficult as a mom in a neighborhood we know is safe and we have families around and have grandparents living around,” said neighbor Deborah Evans. The baby was taken to UPMC and put in the ICU. Police say the child was suffering from “seizure-type events” and several internal injuries. According to the criminal complaint, the doctor determined the baby had injuries diagnostic with abusive head trauma, also known as shaken baby syndrome.
Police say Hanbury and Vacca couldn’t explain how their baby had suffered such serious injuries. “If you get that upset, walk away. Knock on a neighbor’s door and say, ‘can you help me?’ We are all here. We’re all moms,” said Edwards. “You wonder if someone is stressed, anxious, if they don’t have any support systems, if they don’t have the knowledge,” said Evans.
The couple is facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children. Investigators said the child hasn’t been staying with his parents since the incident happened. KDKA’S Amy Wadas reached out to CYS but they said they can’t comment on a specific case.Sources say the child is recovering from his injuries.