A police officer’s faxed complaint on the wellbeing of a Grafton newborn that went unnoticed by state social workers might have prevented the baby’s death, the Boston Globe reported Saturday.
According to the Boston Globe, three people familiar with the case said a Grafton police officer faxed a complaint about the safety of four-week-old Aliana Lavigne on April 3, but the supervisor in charge of checking into faxed reports was out of the office that week, and no one else was tasked to monitor the fax machine.
Aliana Lavigne died on April 11. Though the cause of death has not yet been determined, the baby had aparently stopped breathing while sleeping with her mother Andrea Lavigne, the mother said in an interview with WCVB-TV earlier this week.
Lavigne told WCVB that police had been called multiple times to her home in Upton on in the weeks leading up to the newborn’s death because they heard the baby screaming.
“She had been colicky,” she said. “I was on certain medications through the pregnancy that she was withdrawing from.”
After one of their visits, Grafton police filed a 51A report, which suspects abuse or neglect, with the Department of Children and Families, but they received no response from the agency, WCVB reported.
The state had just began their investigation when the newborn died.
The Worcester district attorney’s office is now looking into the circumstances of the baby’s death. The attorney office’s spokesman Tim Connolly told the Boston Globe Thursday that their probe is not a criminal investigation.
According to multiple reports, Andrea Lavigne had lost custody of her 4-year-old child and had a history of mental health issues and psychotropic drug use.