Why Did It Have To Happen The Way It Did?
By Elizabeth Houle
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998
I thought I would share with you the experience my husband Ed and I had when our son passed away.
I found Brenden at around 5:15am he was face down in his cradle. I woke Ed up and told him to call 911 and that the baby was dead. He got up and he was saying "no.no.no..." He said wake up Mark (our room-mate) I went in and told Mark to get up, the baby was dead, he didn't believe me until he saw the baby then he took Brenden from me and started CPR, I think he knew it was too late but he gave it the old college try. Ed had called 911 and also his parents and his brother. The police station is very close to our home so they were there in no time at all. They came in and Mark moved all the furniture away from the couch where he was doing CPR and looked at the men coming in the door like do something, the police officer walked up to the baby and just looked at him - and did nothing! The police proceeded to start asking questions of all of us, meanwhile the EMS did come in and put my son on a monitor and tried to shock him but it was to no avail as he was soo far gone. The police asked where the baby had been and I showed them his cradle, they asked why did I have a burp rag under where his head was and I told them in case he threw up. I didn't think it was all that strange that he slept that way. After they had asked all of their preliminary questions I hovered over my son crying for him not to be gone and they sort of just tried to get me away from him. They then told us that we had to go to the police station to fill out our statements. When I tried to go to my son to say good bye they wouldn't even let me near him. They just said no you have to go now.
We went to the police station in a police car and Mark drove my husband's truck to the station. When we got into the station they took us unto an interviewing room and left Ed and I alone. I said to him come here I need a hug and just as he was coming over to hug me they came in and said to him come with us. When Mark got there they escorted him through the area I was in and into another area. They gave us all the forms to fill our statements on and left us to it. They came around to collect the statement and offered coffee and donuts. I took the coffee and they also let me smoke in there even though you aren't supposed to. And for the next 4.5 hours I sat by myself and waited for the undercover detective to come in and talk to me. I asked if I could call my father and they let me call him, I told him what had happened and he said he would get someone there as soon as he could, you see he lives out of state from us. So this detective finally comes in and takes me to another interviewing area, note the same person saying that there would be a detective coming to talk to me shortly was the same person who interviewed me. He went over my whole statement with me and asked questions here and there. And then they let me go out into the lobby where my husband's family was waiting. We hugged each other and cried and then we waited for Ed and Mark to be released.
I found out later that they had Mark and Ed rewrite their statements saying they had lost their statements. Ed re wrote his but Mark refused to saying they had it and he wasn't re doing it. Mark later told Ed that they asked him how we were with the baby did we abuse him, feed him, change his diapers, argue etc... I know they had to ask those sorts of questions but it was still very disturbing at the time. They had put Ed in a cell and Mark in a supply closet to separate us. My mother-in-law later revealed at a SIDS support meeting how horrible it was to sit in the lobby and listen to me crying and sobbing. They tried to get in and be with us but they were told no. I don't think we were treated very nice but they kept saying they had to follow procedures.
My mother in law thinks that they made a judgement upon walking into my home and seeing Mark there with long hair that something else had happened in our home all I know is that I woke up and found my beautiful baby boy dead and then I was taken away from him and left to sit and stew in all my racing thoughts by myself with no one there to comfort myself or my husband. I want to know if anyone else was treated so horribly and what if anything can I do. I wish I had had a chance to say goodbye to Brenden it wasn't the same at the funeral home when we held him there I was so afraid because he had had a autopsy and I didn't want to disturb anything you really cant hug and feel close like I think I would have been able to that night at home. We miss our son so very much and we think of him every day, nothing will ever be the same again......
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