Three hours of life

Patrick McCabe, 55, and his wife Deborah, 48, have been said to have been very involved with their children. Patrick sometimes played Santa at Christmas and they both volunteered at the school, involved in school activities, volunteered and coached.

And both have been charged in the death of their 16 year old daughter's newborn baby. Both were indited by the Grand Jury on a charge of manslaughter.

Prosecutors say they don't know if the baby was born on the toilet or if it placed there after it's birth. But they  say the baby was submerged in the toilet for about an hour after its birth. And they say that the couple remained in or around the bathroom during that hour.

The 16 year old girl called her 18 year old brother for assistance. He is an EMT, and he arrived in an ambulance. Reportedly he intervened with the parents.

Allegedly he wrapped the baby in a trash bag and transported both his sister and the baby to the hospital in the ambulance. Reportedly at the hospital, the brother told emergency staff that his sister had "miscarried".

But when the staff opened the bag to examine the baby they found a full term infant and were able to detect a faint hearbeat. The staff attempted to resusitate him, but he was pronounced dead about 40 min. later. Reportedly the infant was alive for only about 3 hours.

An autopsy determined the child was full term, and the cause of death was due to prolonged immersion in the toilet water and prolonged enclosure in the plastic bag.

 The 16 year old mother of the baby and the 18 year old brother have not  been charged. But the brother is no longer a rescue squad member. Patrick McCabe has said that the baby's death was 100% an accident.

New Jersey does have a Safe Haven Infant Protection Act. It allows for infants less than 30 days old to be dropped off anonymously at any emergency room or police station. The parent or someone acting in their behalf can drop the child off, no names are required and there will be no prosecution. The infant would then be given over to Division of Youth and Family services.

Likely by the time the brother arrived, the infant may have appeared unresponsive due to the lack of oxygen. And it is likely that he never heard of something peculiar to babies called the diving reflex. Babies up to 6 months of age have a reflex that prevents them from swallowing water when submerged. More information on that can be found at However by the time the brother arrived, the baby had most likely been submerged and deprived of oxygen for some time.

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