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Toddler Dies After Parents Cover Crib With Salt Bags And Mattress

A 2-year-old boy from Pennsylvania has died of suffocation after his parents tied a mattress and 50-pound driveway salt bags on top of his crib. The boy’s parents, 29-year-old Justin Joseph Dwyer and 28-year-old Courtney Stash were arraigned on Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter. Police were called to the couple’s home in Mystertown on April 25 after Stash’s son Eoin unresponsive.

Allegedly, Stash told authorities that the toddler had been slumped over the railing of the crib not breathing. She reportedly took him into the living room to perform CPR but was unsuccessful. Dwyer claims that he was asleep when Eoin stopped breathing. According to Stash’s attorney, Greer Anderson, Stash was working the night that Eoin died and the incident happened before she got home.

Dwyer’s attorney, Scott Greenoble, says that his client denies all charges. “This was a tragedy and an accident,” he said. “We don’t think there is a basis for criminal charges.” Stash’s oldest child, an 8-year-old boy, says his mother and stepfather ‘routinely’ used a mattress and salt bags to cover Eoin’s crib to stop him from climbing out. Police have said that the salt bags weighed about 50 pounds. The 8-year-old claims that Stash and Dwyer recently started using a bungee cord with hooks to secure the mattress and salt bags on top because Eoin was able to move the items. 

Somehow, Eoin got himself trapped with this contraption and died of suffocation. During a search of the home on April 28, police found the mattress and the salt bags in the same room where the crib was located. Dwyer and Stash are currently being held at the Lebanon County prison on a $250,000 bail each. Dwyer’s mother is in current care of the couple’s children. The couple actually made headlines back in 2014 when Stash gave birth to triplets on Christmas.

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