Parents arrested in baby’s death
AVON — A 4-month-old baby is dead and her parents are facing homicide charges.
Patrick Williams, 27, and Lossie Thomas, 24, were arrested Tuesday and booked for reckless conduct causing death, a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 48 years in prison.
The charges stem from the death of their daughter, Baby Paris Williams. The girl was born in February and died June 8.
The rest of the formal charges have not been finalized, said Bruce Brown, district attorney.
“There has been an autopsy, and the preliminary indications are that this was a homicide, meaning that there was criminal conduct involved,” Brown said.
A daughter’s death
Williams and Thomas were arrested Tuesday following an investigation that began with the infant’s death, said Bob Ticer, Avon police chief.
It started with a June 8 emergency call from Avon’s Eaglebend Apartments, reporting that an infant was not breathing, Ticer said.
Paramedics from the Eagle County Paramedic Services and Avon police were on the scene in moments, but attempts to revive the infant were unsuccessful and she died, Ticer said.
Since then, the case has been under investigation by Avon police detectives, the Eagle County coroner’s office and investigators with the Fifth Judicial District.
Cause of death
The exact circumstances leading to the baby’s death were not released Tuesday.
The baby’s death was caused by bilateral pneumonia, said Kara Bettis, Eagle County coroner.
The autopsy found that when the baby died at 4 months of age, it weighed 6.47 pounds, Bettis said.
Bettis declined comment about any possible abuse the baby may have suffered.
Bilateral pneumonia, or double pneumonia, is a fungal infection that affects both lungs. Patients get fluid in the lungs and have trouble breathing.
Arrested in the courthouse
When Williams showed up in Eagle County Court on Tuesday morning for a criminal mischief and traffic case, Avon Police Detective Jeremy Holmstrom and Sgt. John Lovins were waiting for him.
Judge Katharine Sullivan called him to her bench when his case came up and told him that Holmstrom, Lovins and Eagle County Undersheriff Mike McWilliam wanted him for a more urgent matter.
They escorted Williams out of Sullivan’s courtroom and into the hall, where they placed him under arrest and handcuffed him.
Because the Eagle County jail’s booking area is being remodeled and upgraded for the first time since it was built 30 years ago, Williams had to be taken to Vail to be booked and processed.
He remains in jail. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday morning.
Thomas was arrested early Tuesday afternoon in Denver by the Denver Police Department’s fugitive detail. Avon police asked for help in arresting Thomas, and Denver police had her in custody by early afternoon, Ticer said.
Both Williams and Thomas moved to Avon from Compton, California, in the greater Los Angeles area, authorities said.
Thomas worked at a Vail fast food restaurant. Williams’ occupation is unknown.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vail daily.com.