Norwich Bulletin, Conn.
A 35-year-old Griswold woman is accused of placing a blanket over her crying child’s face earlier this month and smothering him so severely that he eventually died, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Crystal Czyzewski, of 127 Slater Drive, Apt. D, was charged by state police on Monday with first-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a child in connection with the 6-week-old infant’s death. She was arraigned Tuesday in Norwich Superior Court.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a call for an unresponsive infant. The caller, who police identified as Czyzewski, said her baby was pale and barely breathing, the warrant states.
The child was transported to The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich before being airlifted to Hartford’s Connecticut Children Hospital where he arrived in cardiac arrest and unable to breathe on his own. The baby was medically treated for several days and died on Sunday. Autopsy results were inconclusive, police said.
During an interview on Monday with state police detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad, Czyzewski’s mother, Linda Kennison, said her daughter fed the baby on Nov. 17 and placed the sleeping infant in a swing for much of the day.
Kennison initially told police said Czyzewski, who also is mother to a 5-year-old, put the child in a bassinet at approximately 8 p.m., but soon came back out with the baby, which was barely breathing and had a white substance leaking from his nose.
When interviewed by detectives, Czyzewski said she was “stressed out and hadn’t planned on having a child” when she gave birth, the warrant states. She said she was stressed “due to life” and having to care for two children.
Czyzewski said on Nov. 17, both children were crying and it was “too much.” She told police she placed a blanket over the infant’s face for 20 minutes until he was dead, the warrant states. She said the baby was not breathing in his swing when she removed her hand and the child’s body was “lifeless,” police said.
She left the baby in the swing for the rest of the day and placed him in a bassinet hours later before calling 911, police said.
Czyzewski said she convinced her mother to lie about the child’s condition so she would not lose her other child, police said. She said her mother knew the child wasn’t breathing “all day,” but was unaware she had suffocated him, according to the warrant.
When re-interviewed by police, Kennison said she knew the baby was not alive on the morning of Nov. 17 and acknowledged she should have called police. Kennison said she and her daughter devised a plan to put food in the infant’s mouth to “make it look like the baby was alive,” the warrant states.
Czyzewski was initially held on a $500,000 bond.
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