WATERVILLE — A baby boy who died last year at Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter died of sudden unexpected death in infancy, according to the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

Twelve-week-old Trenton Oakes’s manner of death was listed as undetermined on the Jan. 4 report, Deputy police Chief Charles Rumsey said Monday.

“Certainly for us, we are closing our investigation,” Rumsey said. “We’re confident that there’s no criminal activity here that we need to be concerned about.”

Mark Belserene, administrator of the state Medical Examiner’s Office, said when the manner of death is undetermined, that generally means the cause was natural as opposed to mechanical, such as from rolling over.

Last year, Waterville police went to the Ticonic Street shelter at 11:26 a.m. May 18 after receiving a report that a 12-week-old baby had stopped breathing. Efforts to revive the infant were unsuccessful.

After the baby’s death, the shelter’s executive director, Betty Palmer, said every attempt was made by shelter officials, emergency workers, police and hospital workers to revive the infant.

After learning of the cause of death on Monday, Palmer said her thoughts are with the boy’s family.

“It’s a tragic loss, always,” Palmer said. “We always wonder why — and sometimes there’s no answer.”

Palmer said more and more babies are coming to live at the shelter with their families. Right now, shelter officials are helping a family with a baby find housing.

“There’s been an incredible increase in families with young children and infants, even newborns, from the hospitals,” Palmer said.

State police investigate deaths in children ages 3 and younger. Waterville police reported the death to state police, who assumed primary responsibility for the case. Waterville police assisted in the investigation.

Police at the time said the results of tests taken to determine cause of death could take months.

Police had been unsuccessful until Monday in finding the parents to notify them of the report’s cause of death, the child’s father, David Oakes, said Monday night.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]


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