WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr

Father Of Infant Found Dead Arrested, Charged With Child Abuse Resulting In Death

Reported: May. 21, 2014 4:12 PM EDT
Updated: May. 21, 2014 11:21 PM EDT

News Image

HURRICANE, W.Va. (Heath Harrison, Kallie Cart) -- The father of an infant found dead in Charleston was arrested Wednesday night.

Robert Jeremy Smith, 33, has been charged with child abuse resulting in death. The arrest was made by Hurricane police, where a separate scene was being investigated.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown, Stefano DiPietrantonio) -- A baby was found dead in Charleston on Wednesday, and the investigation has spanned two counties.

The infant, named Madden, was found dead in a car seat in Kanawha City. The father, Robert Jeremy Smith, 33, called 911 to report that the baby hit his head sometime during the night and was now dead.

Dispatchers said Smith then slit his own throat, but survived.

The investigation spanned two counties – Kanawha, where police found the baby and the father, and Putnam, where police put up crime scene tape around a home on Shank Avenue in Hurricane.

Chief Mike Mullins, with the Hurricane Police Department, said the department and State Police had not even been inside the house, yet they were still getting warrants.

They were told it was a potential crime scene.

The boy’s grandmother is a traveling nurse, who came home to West Virginia from Maryland to see her own mother in the ICU, only to learn her home was a crime scene

She did not want her name used on camera but said her son, Smith, has suffered some kind of damage to one of his arms and, lately, has difficulty holding onto or gripping things.

She could only speculate, but feared he may have dropped the baby by accident, and then may have freaked out or panicked and didn't know what to do.

She and Smith's brother, Barry, wanted him to know they were there for him and were behind him 100 percent.

Smith's family also said he has been separated from his wife for about a month, and that has been incredibly stressful.

Madden also has a twin sister, Madeline, who is in the neo-natal intensive care unit at Women and Children's Hospital in Charleston, fighting for her life. She was born with her intestines outside of her body, and had to have major surgery.

Barry Smith said that Jeremy Smith was treated for his non-life-threatening injuries, and was being questioned by the Charleston Police Department.

Charleston police are still investigating the baby's death.

Neighbors in Charleston were shocked that something like this could happen in their neighborhood.

It had been a very active and hectic crime scene in Kanawha City, and, for the community, it was a heartbreaking turn of events.

Police got to the home on Venable Avenue in Kanawha City just before 4 p.m. Wednesday, found the baby, and then found Smith near the car.

Police said Smith had slit his throat and was taken to the hospital.

The mother was questioned by police, who confirmed the baby and Smith lived at the home on Venable Avenue.

Police said there were other children living in the home as well. All have been taken somewhere safe.

“They seem to be amazing parents, very loving parents,” neighbor Senaia Harris said. “They are constantly watching their kids. It's very devastating to see something like this happen to such a great family."

And until all the details emerge, neighbors are left to wonder exactly what happened as they keep the family in their thoughts.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Katy Brown, Jeff Morris) -- Charleston police, fire and ambulance units were at the scene Wednesday in Kanawha City where a baby was found dead in a car seat and where a father apparently slit his own throat.

The incident reportedly happened on Venable Avenue. Police said the father is still alive after slitting his throat.

Several streets are closed while emergency crews deal with the situation. The following streets are closed -- 37th Street to 39th Street and 38th Street back to Washington Avenue.

Metro 911 indicated that the father had reported the baby had hit his head sometime Tuesday night and was now dead in the car seat.

West Virginia State Police and Charleston police are also looking into a second crime scene in Putnam County. Police said the two scenes are connected.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris, Mamie Buoy, Katy Brown) -- Charleston police said an infant was found dead in Kanawha City, and the father tried to slit his own throat.

Metro 911 said the baby was found dead in a car seat on Venable Avenue. An emergency dispatcher said the father reported that the baby hit his head sometime during the night and was now dead in the car seat.

Police said the father did not die from his injuries. Emergency crews are at the scene where the incident occurred.

Eyewitness News has a crew at the scene and will provide more information online as it becomes available. Watch Eyewitness News at 5 and 6 for the latest updates.

SUV Hauling Live Chickens Overturns; Portion Of I-79 Closed
Aug. 22, 2014 4:32 AM EDT
Both south bound lanes of I-79 near mile marker 30 ...
Full News Story

Woman Sues McDonald's, Claims Tea Was Tainted
Aug. 21, 2014 11:43 PM EDT
A Lincoln County woman is suing after she says her ...
Full News Story and Video

Logan Soul Singer Honored With ABSSA Hall Of Fame Induction
Aug. 21, 2014 11:21 PM EDT
One of Logan's most famous sons was honored in a special ...
Full News Story and Video

News Jackson County Schools Respond To Emergency
Aug. 21, 2014 10:42 PM EDT
News DEA Raises Prescription Drug Security
Aug. 21, 2014 11:12 PM EDT
News Man Fled from Police; Crusier Involved Accident
Aug. 21, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
News Return Of Marshall Students Brings In Business Boom
Aug. 21, 2014 8:07 PM EDT
News Captial City Turns Kelly Green For MU Pep Rally
Aug. 21, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
News WV Agency Gets $560K In Mine Safety Funding
Aug. 21, 2014 6:00 PM EDT
News Neighborhood Planning Kanawha City Meeting To Address Crime
Aug. 21, 2014 6:07 PM EDT
News Heroes And Handcuffs Baseball Game Set For Saturday
Aug. 21, 2014 8:27 PM EDT
News Search Still On For Suspect Accused Of Robbing Jackson County Bank
Aug. 21, 2014 6:12 PM EDT
News Students Celebrate Harvest Time At The Clay Center
Aug. 21, 2014 8:13 PM EDT
News Getaway Driver In West Side Murder Gets Second Chance
Aug. 21, 2014 4:00 PM EDT
News Flags Lowered In Honor Of Former WV Lawmaker
Aug. 21, 2014 3:34 PM EDT
News Structure Fire Destroys Home In Logan County
Aug. 21, 2014 2:59 PM EDT
News WVSP Searching For Man Accused Of Robbing Jackson County Bank
Aug. 21, 2014 5:07 PM EDT
News Airport, Chemical Co. Want Spill Lawsuit Dismissed
Aug. 21, 2014 5:55 PM EDT
News WVAW Issues Boil Water Advisory For 500 Customers In Sissonville
Aug. 21, 2014 1:32 PM EDT
News Businesses Affected By Morris Building Fire Making Comeback
Aug. 21, 2014 1:37 PM EDT
News West Nile Found In Cabell Mosquitoes
Aug. 21, 2014 1:13 PM EDT
News Police Looking For Men Accused Of Robbing Pizza Delivery Driver
Aug. 20, 2014 10:52 PM EDT
News Putnam County Man Convicted of Rape; Says He is Innocent
Aug. 20, 2014 10:31 PM EDT
News Early Morning Car Burglaries in Putnam County
Aug. 21, 2014 1:17 PM EDT
News Charleston Police Continue Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign
Aug. 20, 2014 9:11 PM EDT
News Police Say Thieves Break Into Pharmacy, Steals Prescription Drugs
Aug. 21, 2014 3:11 PM EDT
News Capito, Tennant To Compete In Chamber Senate Forum
Aug. 21, 2014 1:21 PM EDT
News Mom Facing Charges After Kicking Son Out Of Car, Leaving Him to Walk Home
Aug. 20, 2014 8:31 PM EDT
News Charges Dropped Against Supreme Court Justice Margaret Workman's Son
Aug. 20, 2014 8:58 PM EDT
News Dog Saves Owners' Lives
Aug. 20, 2014 6:36 PM EDT
News State Mine Board To Decide On Kanawha State Forest Mine
Aug. 20, 2014 6:11 PM EDT
News Jury Rules In Case Involving Logger Accused Of Illegally Cutting At Coonskin
Aug. 20, 2014 9:16 PM EDT
News Five Arrested In Franklin Furnace; Linked To Stolen Property Cases In The Area
Aug. 20, 2014 5:06 PM EDT

Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
After guard's death, firm told to require check-in

A security company has been told to include mandatory check-ins for its guards after a supervisor drowned at a Kanawha County coal loading dock.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Kentucky court upholds 30-year sentence in slaying

The 30-year prison sentence of a western Kentucky woman in the death of her husband has been upheld by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Full Story

Ohio News
Polish Solidarity leader to speak in Cincinnati

The leader of Poland's Solidarity movement that challenged communism will speak in Cincinnati.
Full Story

Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site

Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.