In their lawsuit, the parents claim they were told that an autopsy was not warranted
Jessica Ross was told her baby died during childbirth in July 2023
In a lawsuit, she claims she was not told her baby had been decapitated until three days after being discharged from the hospital
The family claims the hospital encouraged them to cremate the body and told them an autopsy was unnecessary
The parents of the baby who was decapitated during birth have alleged in a lawsuit that the hospital where their son died attempted to cover up what happened.
On July 10, 2023, Jessica Ross was told her baby had died during delivery at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Ga., her lawyers have previously claimed. But three days later, she and her partner, Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., were informed that the baby had been decapitated, after Ross was discharged from the hospital, according to a copy of the complaint reviewed by PEOPLE.
“They were unaware, they were told that the baby didn’t make it,” Cory Lynch, an attorney representing them, tells PEOPLE. “They were not told of the condition of the body.”
The family first filed a fraud and negligence suit in August. On Tuesday, the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that the cause of death was a homicide.
Though it is possible criminal charges could result from the incident, the cause of death being listed as homicide does not necessarily indicate a crime has been committed, but instead means a person’s actions caused the death.
At a press conference Wednesday, Lynch and fellow attorney Roderick Edmond claimed when the couple asked to see their baby, hospital staff tightly wrapped the baby and propped up his head, which the parents believe constituted an attempt to conceal what had happened to their child.
“Lies and cover ups,” Edmond alleged.
In an interview with PEOPLE, Brian Byars, director of the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office confirms that the office was shown a picture of a tightly swaddled baby.
"It looked like they presented a very healthy, very good looking, beautiful child,” he says.
The complaint also alleges that hospital officials encouraged the parents to cremate the baby’s remains and told them that an autopsy “was not needed,” which the couple believes was an attempt to destroy evidence.
In the medical examiner’s office press release, the office says it was notified of the decapitated baby by the funeral home, rather than the hospital.
“It's our belief that the hospital should have contacted us and called us,” Byars tells PEOPLE. “The circumstances, because there were a lot of unanswered questions and cause for trauma, we think we should have been contacted. And that's the reason we took jurisdiction over the case when we were notified.”
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Byars confirms that his office notified law enforcement about the circumstances of the baby's death.
The medical examiner’s office said it had notified the Clayton County Police Department about the incident.
After the death was ruled a homicide, Southern Regional Medical Center told CNN it could not comment due to the pending litigation.
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Read the original article on People.