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Texas police give tips to spot hidden ATM skimmers

With identity theft a concern for consumers, a lesson to spot devices that skim debit and credit cards for bank information is always timely.

>> Read more trending news 

Police in Freeport, Texas, created a two-minute video that was posted to Facebook to educate residents on how to spot skimmer devices on drive-up ATM machines, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Freeport Police Chief Ray Garivey said a Texas Dow Employee Credit Union in the city was victimized by skimmers. 

Skimmers can be positioned on the ATM’s card reader, so police suggest jiggling the device to ensure it is secure, the Chronicle reported. Another device is a pinhole camera that thieves use to record the customers’ PIN numbers, the newspaper reported.

Garivey urged consumers to contact authorities if they suspect an ATM contains a skimming device.

Private school founder in North Carolina pleads guilty to human trafficking

A North Carolina woman who set up a private school in Charlotte admitted Monday that she was guilty in a case involving human trafficking.

>> Read more trending news 

Federal prosecutors said Evelyn Mack used the school to promise foreign teens they would play at a prominent school with scholarship offers. 

Instead, prosecutors said those athletes vanished in the hands of recruiters and basketball coaches. Some reappeared in towns more than 100 miles away and others were missing for months. 

The government said Mack made around $75,000 by hiding 75 foreign student athletes who were in the country illegally. 

Mack could face a lot of time in prison by pleading guilty, but as part of her agreement, the deal all but guarantees she won't be sentenced to anything more than 10 years. 

"We're still probably in the middle phase of the process and we're looking forward to everything being good for Ms. Mack," Mack's attorney said. 

Prosecutors are still putting together their final recommendations when it comes to Mack's time in prison and until that's settled, Mack will stay out of jail on bond. 

"Does she have any remorse? Any apologies? All things in their time, my friend and this is not that time," said Mack’s attorney, Mark Becker. 

Police: Mother of 5 killed – by nephew – while breaking up fight at niece’s baby shower

A California mother of five children is dead and her nephew is charged with killing her after she tried breaking up a fight at a family baby shower over the weekend, police said. 

The woman, Beatrice Romo, 38, of Riverside, was shot Saturday night at the Elks Lodge in Riverside, where her niece’s baby shower was being held. The accused shooter, Abraham David Bonilla, 37, was arrested a short time later after fleeing the scene and getting into a hit-and-run crash a couple of miles from the Elks Lodge, Riverside police officials said

>> Read more trending news

Bonilla is charged with murder, attempted murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to jail records. He is being held in the Southwest Detention Center in Riverside County in lieu of $1 million bond on each charge. 

He previously spent about five years in an Arizona state prison on aggravated assault charges, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections database

Police officials said dispatchers received a call just after 7 p.m. Saturday reporting the fight and a possible shooting. While officers were at the scene, Romo arrived at Riverside Community Hospital by personal vehicle, suffering from gunshot wounds. 

A few minutes later, a man also arrived at the hospital with gunshot wounds, a Riverside police news release said. Both victims went into emergency surgery.

Romo died of her injuries, while the man, whose name has not been released, was left in critical condition.

According to jail records, Bonilla was in police custody about 15 minutes after the 911 call reporting the shooting.  

At least two of Romo’s children were present when she was gunned down.

“After the gunshots, everyone was, like, ‘It’s Bea! It’s Bea! Bea got hurt!’ Romo’s daughter, Daisy, told NBC Los Angeles

Romo’s son, Joshua, told the news station that he heard a shot and saw his mother fall to the floor.

“I was just telling her I love her,” Joshua Romo said. “She was getting so pale.”

The last thing his mother told him, as she was being loaded into an ambulance, was that she would be OK. 

Romo’s husband, Ronnie Romo, described his wife as loving, giving and beautiful.

“My wife was the woman men dream of, bro,” Ronnie Romo, 42, told the Press-Enterprise in Riverside

He said his wife spent the day before the baby shower making cake pops and cupcakes for the celebration. 

Tere Leyva, a longtime friend of Beatrice Romo, told the newspaper that she was told her friend was shot when she got in between the people arguing and tried to shield the person behind her. It was indicative of Romo’s caring nature.

Romo could also be the “life of the party,” Leyva said. 

“She’d get there and she’d say, ‘Let’s dance,’” Leyva told the Press-Enterprise. “She was a happy person.”

fundraiser is being held Saturday night in Beatrice Romo’s honor. Leyva has also established a GoFundMe page to help the family with the costs of her medical care and funeral. 

Daisy Romo told NBC Los Angeles that she would never be able to forgive Bonilla for taking her mother -- and his own aunt – away from their family.

Ronnie Romo, who said his wife “lit up the room,” is trying to come to terms with the fact that she’s gone. 

“I thought I was going to grow old with my wife,” Ronnie Romo told the news station. “That was my goal.” 

‘You ended my life, so I’m taking yours’: 92-year-old woman kills son over nursing home threat

An elderly Arizona woman has been charged with first-degree murder after police say she killed her son, who planned to put her in a nursing home.

Anna Mae Blessing, 92, of Fountain Hills, is also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Investigators said that deputies were called around 10 a.m. Monday to a condominium at the Village at Towne Center in Fountain Hills, which is about 35 miles northeast of Phoenix. When they arrived, they discovered that Blessing had shot and killed her 72-year-old son. 

Blessing told detectives that she had been thinking for several days about her son’s intention to put her in an assisted living facility. She told the investigators that her son told her she’d become “difficult to live with,” so he was going to put her in a home, ABC15 in Phoenix reported

On Monday, she confronted her son in his bedroom -- with two pistols in the pockets of her bathrobe, police officials said. During the confrontation, she pulled out one of the handguns and fired several shots, killing the unidentified son.

The man’s girlfriend struggled with Blessing over the weapon and knocked it from her hand, a Sheriff’s Office news release said

Blessing then pulled out her second gun and tried to point it at the girlfriend, but the woman knocked that one from her hands as well, police officials said

See Anna Mae Blessing’s initial appearance in Maricopa County Superior Court below, courtesy of the Arizona Republic. 

Investigators found Blessing sitting in a recliner at the condo and took her into custody. 

ABC15 reported that Blessing made an ominous statement about her son as detectives arrested her.

“You ended my life, so I’m taking yours,” Blessing said, according to police. 

Fox10 in Phoenix reported that Blessing told officers she planned to kill herself as well, but had no more weapons with which to do so. 

The news station reported that police had been called to the home once before for an argument between mother and son, who lived together for about six months. The guns Blessing is accused of using in Monday’s homicide had belonged to her late husband. 

Barbara Blessing, the suspect’s granddaughter and daughter of the victim, told ABC15 that her father had asked police officers to take his mother’s weapons, but was told the elderly woman had a right to have them. 

>> Read more trending news

Barbara Blessing said her grandmother needs help, not jail.

“All I want to do is get her out of that jail where she can have her dignity back and get medication she needs so she can rest in peace,” she told the news station. “She doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. She’s not well; she’s very ill.” 

Anna Mae Blessing was in a wheelchair during her initial court appearance, video of which was obtained by the Arizona Republic. The only time Blessing spoke was to give her full name and date of birth. 

The judge presiding over her appearance ordered her to be held on a $500,000 cash bond. He also ordered several conditions if she is able to post the bond, including the requirement that she not return to living at the scene of the crime. 

She is also ordered to have no contact with any victims, witnesses or arresting officers, and to have no weapons while awaiting trial. Blessing can also have no drugs without a valid prescription in her name. 

Blessing remained in the Maricopa County Jail as of Thursday morning, jail records showed

Police: 10-month-old girl dies after being run over by vehicle in driveway

A 10-month-old girl has died after she was run over by a vehicle Tuesday in Union Township, Ohio.

>> Read more trending news 

Emergency crews were dispatched around 12:40 p.m. to the 1100 block of Old SR 74 on a report that an infant had been run over in a driveway, according to a press release from the Union Township Police Department.

The infant was taken by a medical helicopter to a local hospital, the release stated, but died from her injuries Tuesday night.

Cincinnati-area media reports indicate the infant was in a carrier when a mother sat it down on the ground to tend to another child inside a vehicle, which divided her attention. The mother then reportedly got back in the vehicle and backed up over the infant.

Cincinnati-area media report that the incident was an accident.

The accident is currently under investigation, according to police. It was not immediately clear whether charges would be filed in relation to the incident.

 Visit WHIO.com for the latest on this developing story.

Meat cutter exposed himself to 12-year-old girl while working at grocery store, police say

A Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, grocery store employee is facing charges after police say he exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl while working.

>> Watch the news report here

Joseph Livingston has worked as a meat cutter at the Rostraver Giant Eagle for the last two years, according to a criminal complaint.

>> Subway employee accused of racism after calling police on black family

A Giant Eagle spokesperson sent WPXI the following statement:

"We were deeply disturbed to learn of the reported actions of this former Team Member as this incident is completely out of line with the values of our company. In concert with the police investigation, immediate steps were taken to terminate this individual. We continue to work with the authorities to assist them however we can, and we have been in contact with the family involved to express our regret for this troubling situation."

>> Read more trending news 

The victim told her mother that Livingston exposed himself to her several times and was touching himself while behind the counter.

According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video confirms much of what the 12-year-old told police.

Livingston reportedly told store personnel, "I guess I did it, but it wasn't intentional."

When interviewed by police, according to the criminal complaint, Livingston told investigators "he did see the video and knows what he did."

Subway employee accused of racism after calling police on black family

A family of seven, on their way back from vacation, told WSB-TV they stopped at a Georgia Subway restaurant on Monday to eat dinner when things took an unexpected turn.

>> Watch the news report here

The members of the Dobson family said an employee called police on them, and they think it’s a case of racism. 

WSB-TV obtained the 911 call in which the employee at the Coweta County restaurant accused the family of going back and forth to the bathroom and possibly putting soda in water cups. 

>> WATCH: 'Permit Patty' appears to call police on girl selling bottled water in viral video

The Dobsons said they did nothing wrong, and they want to know what triggered the call.

The family was returning from their grandmother's birthday party in South Georgia over the weekend. 

On their drive home to North Carolina, Felicia and Othniel Dobson stopped for dinner at a Subway on Newnan Crossing Boulevard with their children – ages 8, 12, 13 and 19 – and the children's aunt.

“I have a 24-year-old sister who’s a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T (State University). My daughter’s 19. She’s entering sophomore year at Wake Forest University,” Felicia Dobson said.

The family was at the restaurant for about an hour when a Subway employee made an urgent 911 call.

>> Huge cookout held at Oakland park where cops called on black family's barbecue

"I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now," the employee said. "There's about eight people in a van, and they've been in the store for about an hour. They keep going back and forth to the bathrooms by my back door."

A Newnan police officer showed up. The Dobsons said the officer apologized and told them the employee had said she was suspicious of the family and that she has been robbed before and thought they would rob her.

>> Read more trending news 

"I don't think she ever felt threatened," Dobson said. "We can't change our skin color. I have great kids. I have a great family."

Subway franchisee Rosh Patel sent WSB-TV the following statement:

"I take this very seriously, and I am fully investigating. I have also used this opportunity to reiterate to my staff the importance of making everyone feel welcome."

Felicia Dobson said the owner called her Tuesday evening and apologized. She said she was told the employee is on administrative leave. 

Florida seeks death penalty against woman accused of killing ‘lookalike’ for identity

Florida prosecutors have announced that they will seek the death penalty for a Minnesota fugitive who investigators believe killed a woman to assume her identity this spring in Fort Myers Beach. 

Lois Ann Riess, 56, of Blooming Prairie, is charged with first-degree murder with a firearm in the April 5 slaying of Pamela Hutchinson. She is also charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft and criminal use of personal identification of a deceased person. 

Riess’ alleged crimes -- and her five weeks on the run -- made news across the country.

In the state’s notice of intent to seek the death penalty, prosecutors list the grounds for seeking capital punishment, including the allegation that the homicide was committed in order to avoid arrest or to escape custody.

The crime was also committed for financial gain, the notice said.

The third reason was “that the capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification,” the notice said

Riess was indicted June 6 in the case, according to court records. She became a suspect in Hutchinson’s shooting death after the Bradenton woman’s body was found April 9 in the condo in which she had been staying. 

Riess’ abandoned Cadillac Escalade, which Minnesota investigators alleged she left the state in after gunning down her husband, 54-year-old David Riess, on the couple’s worm farm in March, was found in a park in Fort Myers. 

Surveillance footage from a restaurant two blocks from Hutchinson’s borrowed timeshare condo also showed the victim chatting with Riess at the bar on April 5, the day authorities believe she was shot to death. 

For those who knew Hutchinson, it was no surprise that she befriended Riess. Barbara Pauls, part owner of the timeshare where Hutchinson died, told the Fort Myers News-Press that Hutchinson, who arrived in Fort Myers Beach just two days before authorities believe she was killed, told her about meeting a new friend. 

“She said she met a lady and that they were going out to eat that night and the lady was single, too,” Pauls told the newspaper

That new friend was apparently Riess. 

Investigators alleged that Riess, a grandmother and compulsive gambler who Minnesota law enforcement officials dubbed “Losing Streak Lois,” targeted Hutchinson, 59, because the two women looked enough alike that Riess could potentially use her identification and money to continue her flight from police following her husband’s slaying.

>> Read more trending news

There were several similarities in the two slayings, the News-Press reported. Like Hutchinson, David Riess’ body was found on the bathroom floor of the couple’s home, covered with towels. Also like Hutchinson, he had been dead for several days before his body was found March 23. 

Both victims were shot multiple times and investigators believe both David Riess and Hutchinson were killed with the same handgun, though the shootings occurred more than 1,400 miles apart. 

According to the Florida indictment, Lois Riess stole credit cards, money, jewelry, sunglasses and other property from Hutchinson after she was killed. Surveillance footage from Hutchinson’s condo complex showed Riess walking into the parking lot, getting into Hutchinson’s Acura and driving away. 

The indictment also alleged that Riess went to a Fort Myers bank and used Hutchinson’s identification to withdraw $5,000 from the dead woman’s account before leaving town.

Riess was next spotted the following day at an Ocala Hilton hotel, where she used Hutchinson’s identification to check into a room, Lee County officials said. She stayed there the nights of April 6 and 7, according to investigators. 

Surveillance footage from inside and outside the hotel showed both Riess and the stolen Acura. 

According to the News-Press, a white straw hat Riess wore in the footage belonged to Hutchinson. 

While in Ocala, Riess is accused of withdrawing another $500 from Hutchinson’s bank account. 

From there, Riess is accused of making her way west across the southeastern U.S., making several stops in Louisiana before being seen driving the Acura around Corpus Christi, Texas. She attempted to get $200 from Hutchinson’s account at a gas station, but the effort failed, the News-Press reported

Riess used her own ID to claim a $1,500 jackpot at a Louisiana casino, the newspaper reported. 

Riess remained at large until April 19, when she was arrested on South Padre Island in Texas. Dodge County Sheriff Scott Rose said a man recognized Riess when she walked into a restaurant on the island, located about 25 miles from the Mexican border, and looked at a menu.

Riess did not stay to eat at the restaurant, identified as Dirty Al’s Seafood, but the man called police to report the sighting. A South Padre Island police officer and a federal marshal responded to the area and spotted the white Acura TL that had been stolen from Hutchinson at another nearby restaurant, the Sea Ranch. 

Riess was taken into custody as she sat at the bar inside, eating a meal and chatting with fellow patrons. She was subsequently extradited back to Florida to face charges in Hutchinson’s homicide. 

She has not yet been charged in her husband’s death. Investigators in Minnesota said Riess is suspected of forging several checks and using them to take $11,000 from her husband’s business and personal accounts after he was killed. 

Authorities said she was spotted gambling at Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa, the day his body was found, but left before deputies could get there. 

Braden Riess, one of David and Lois Riess’ children, told Inside Edition in May that the tragedy that tore his family apart was “like a bad movie.”

“I can’t wrap my head around it,” Braden Riess said. “My mom is a good lady.”

He told Inside Edition that his mother had problems, but that the family was shocked by allegations that she turned violent and killed his father and Hutchinson.

“Just a mental breakdown,” Riess said. “She had her own demons, you know, lately.”

He said though her gambling addiction has plagued her over the past few years, his entire family is shocked and devastated that the woman he described as a good mother “snapped.”

“She was caring,” Braden Riess said. “Always put herself second and us kids first.”

The distraught son told Inside Edition that gambling addiction ruins lives. When asked what he would say to his mother, his answer was simple.

“Just tell her I love her,” he said. 

Man accused of stabbing 9 refugees at child’s party, killing birthday girl, has criminal past

The man accused of stabbing an Ethiopian toddler to death at her own third birthday party on Saturday has a long criminal history, including time spent in federal prison.

Timmy Earl Kinner Jr., 30, also stabbed eight other people -- six of them children -- Saturday at a Boise, Idaho, apartment complex that houses many refugees from war-torn countries, police officials said. Kinner is charged with first-degree murder, as well as eight counts of aggravated battery. 

The birthday girl, who at 3 years old was one of the youngest victims, died of her injuries Monday at a Utah hospital, where she had been flown for treatment. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) identified the girl as Ruya Kadir.

Ruya and her mother fled violence in their native country of Ethiopia in December 2015 and were resettled in Boise with help from the IRC. All of the victims in Saturday’s attack were refugees from Ethiopia, Iraq and Syria. 

IRC president and CEO David Miliband said in a statement that Ruya was described by those who knew her as “the epitome of sweetness.”

“Our caseworkers describe Ruya as a child who always sparkled when she walked into a room,” Miliband said. “She was her mother’s princess, always the center of attention, and loved pink and Disney princesses.”

Julianne D. Tzul, executive director for IRC’s Boise office, also spoke out about the attack.

“It is heartbreaking to know that people and children who fled the horror of war and conflict to find safety in America and the Boise community had to experience violence all over again,” Tzul said in a statement

>> Related story: Idaho mass stabbing suspect charged with first-degree murder after 3-year-old victim dies

Boise Mayor David Bieter said Sunday that the “horrific attack” at the Wylie Street Station Apartments is not representative of the city.

“Our city has long stood as a welcoming city -- a place of safety and kindness for those fleeing violence and oppression in their homelands,” Bieter said. “The senseless acts of one disturbed person does not change that. As Boiseans, we come together not only to condemn this vile act, but also to embrace those among us seeking refuge from tyranny, suffering and war. It is who we are and who we will continue to be.”

Zine Jalil, 8, and his 9-year-old brother, Siraj, described the stabbing for The Idaho Statesman. The boys and their family are Iraqi refugees living at the apartment complex where the mass stabbing took place. 

Zine said he had gone to the Dollar Tree with a neighbor, Ekhlas Al Khudhur, shortly before the assault began. Al Khudhur, 23, needed some groceries for her family, the Statesman reported

“They were coming back, and Zine got stabbed first,” Siraj told the newspaper. “Then he went to my mom and told her that Ekhlas died.”

Al Khudhur was not dead, but had been stabbed more than a dozen times. Zine, who was stabbed in the stomach, witnessed that stabbing as well. 

The attacker saw Zine after the boy ran to his mother and tried to stab him again, family members said. Instead, he stabbed the boys’ mother and 6-year-old sister, witnesses said. 

The boys’ sister, Teba, is recovering at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center from wounds to her liver and pancreas.

Their mother, Miada Jasim, 37, is hospitalized across town at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. Jasim was stabbed in the neck.

“She’s getting better,” Zine told the Statesman. “She was paralyzed yesterday, but now she can move a little bit.”

As of Monday, Zine was the only victim who had been released from the hospital. In photos shared on the Statesman’s Facebook page Tuesday, the boy holds up his shirt to show his stab wound, covered with a bandage, and several bruises from the attack.

The seven remaining victims were still being treated, many with serious or critical injuries, Boise police officials said. A candlelight vigil was held for the victims Monday and multiple efforts are underway to offer them relief with medical bills, counseling, rent, transportation and childcare.

The boys said they had seen Kinner around the apartment complex in the week before the attack. Officials said the preliminary investigation showed Kinner had stayed with a friend at the complex for a few days, but was asked to leave. 

“That person and additional neighbors became concerned with the suspect’s behavior and asked him to leave on Friday, which he did peacefully,” a news release from the Boise Police Department said

He returned Saturday with a knife, described as a large knife with a folding blade, and began attacking the children playing outside at and around Ruya Kadir’s birthday party, investigators said. The knife was later found in a canal that runs near the apartment complex, the Statesman reported

Kinner, who is not a refugee, has an extensive criminal history in several states, investigators said. The crimes include violent ones. 

Kinner, who police describe as homeless, was most recently arrested in April in Utah. At that time, St. George police officers booked him on suspicion of misdemeanor theft, for which he served three days in jail and was placed on 18 months’ probation, the Statesman said

The majority of Kinner’s record is from Tennessee, where his arrests ranged from indecent exposure and misdemeanor assault to felony robbery and sexual assault. 

He was federally indicted in 2008 for illegal possession of a semi-automatic handgun and marijuana distribution, the newspaper reported. He pleaded guilty to the weapons charge and was sentenced to more than three years in prison. 

Once out of prison, his supervised release was revoked multiple times because he was charged with new crimes, the Statesman said. 

>> Read more trending news

Saturday was the first time Kinner was arrested in Idaho. He was arraigned Monday afternoon at the Ada County Courthouse.

In court, Kinner, who appeared via video from the Ada County Jail, appeared confused when Judge Russell Comstock asked the defendant if he understood the charges against him. 

“No. No, sir,” Kinner replied, according to video from the court appearance

“What don’t you understand?” Comstock asked.

“I don’t understand none of this, sir,” the defendant said. 

When Comstock read through Kinner’s rights, Kinner asked, “What about the right to gather evidence?”

The judge told him that was reserved for the trial process.

Kinner asked to represent himself in his case. The Statesman reported that Comstock assigned a public defender to assist him in initial proceedings. 

Kinner is being held without bail. 

British health care worker arrested in deaths of 8 newborn babies, near-deaths of 6 more

A health care worker in England was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murdering eight infants at a Chester hospital, and police suspect her of trying to kill six more. 

The unnamed woman was arrested following more than a year of investigation into the deaths. The Guardian reported in May 2017 that Cheshire police were investigating the deaths of 15 babies in the neonatal unit at Countess of Chester Hospital over a 12-month span. 

Cheshire police officials said Tuesday that the scope of the investigation -- dubbed Operation Hummingbird -- has expanded since then, with the total number of suspicious infant deaths now at 17. They are also investigating another 15 near-deaths between March 2015 and July 2016. 

The health care worker’s arrest is not the end of the investigation, according to Cheshire police Detective Inspector Paul Hughes, who is the lead detective on the case. 

“It’s really important to remember there’s still a long way to go in this inquiry and a lot of work before we’re able to fully ascertain exactly what happened to these 32 babies subject to this investigation,” Hughes said in a video released by authorities. “And we are committed to a thorough investigative process.”

>> Read more trending news

Hughes said Tuesday morning’s arrest will have a huge impact on the families of the babies.

“It’s important to remember they are the heart of this inquiry,” Hughes said. 

The BBC reported that officials would not say what the woman’s role was at the hospital when the babies died. Police officers were also searching a home in Chester in connection with the investigation. 

A news release issued Tuesday said the parents of the babies are being supported throughout the investigation by specially-trained officers and are being kept abreast of all developments. 

“Whilst this (arrest) is a significant step forward in our inquiries it is important to remember that the investigation is very much active and ongoing at this stage,” Hughes said in a news release. “There are no set timescales for this coming to a conclusion, but we remain committed to carrying out a thorough investigation as soon as possible.”

Hughes described the investigation as “highly sensitive and complicated.” He said a team of medical specialists has been consulted and continues to work alongside the investigative team to ensure the probe is as thorough as possible. 

Detectives have also interviewed a number of staff members at Countess of Chester Hospital. Hughes said his team is aware of the impact the investigation is having on staff and patients at the hospital, which serves Chester and the surrounding area. 

Hospital officials, who last May brought the Cheshire police in to investigate the unexplained infant deaths, said in a statement Tuesday that they continue to cooperate with the police investigation.  

“Asking the police to look into this was not something we did lightly, but we need to do everything we can to understand what has happened here and get the answers we and the families so desperately want,” Ian Harvey, medical director for Countess of Chester, said. “The Countess is now equivalent to a Level 1 Special Care Baby Unit, and we are confident the unit is safe to continue in its current form.”

The hospital’s own investigation began after officials there noted an increase in neonatal deaths in 2015 and 2016. The hospital in July 2016 limited the intensive care services provided by the neonatal unit, according to previous statements from hospital officials. 

An independent review was conducted the following February by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Nursing. The independent reviewers, whose final report can be found here, made a number of recommendations for the hospital’s neonatal unit, but could find no single cause or factor to explain the increase in baby deaths. 

One of the recommendations in the report was to further investigate the deaths of the infants. Ultimately, the police were called in. 

“We are deeply sorry for the further distress and heartache this will cause,” Harvey said at the time. “Throughout this, we have never lost sight of the families left bereaved by the loss of their baby, and they will continue to be our main concern.”

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