Recent infant deaths share a common thread: live-in boyfriend

Recent infant deaths share a common thread: live-in boyfriend
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The death of a 4-month-old Bakersfield girl is the latest in what appears to be a string of infant homicides allegedly committed by men while their mothers were away from the home.

According to reports, John Wilburn was babysitting Paige Cohen when he says he left the room and she rolled off the couch.

Wilburn, who is the baby's father, called the child’s mother and waited for her to get home from work instead of calling for medical help, according to Bakersfield police.

When she arrived, the pair took the child to a hospital, but the child’s condition was so severe that she was airlifted to Children's Hospital Central California in Madera, where she later died.

According to records obtained by Eyewitness News, the case is the latest in nearly a dozen cases where someone was either tried or arrested for child abuse in the past year.

Deputy District Attorney Andrea Kohler said that ignoring signs of abuse can also be a crime, noting some mothers have been charged and convicted of second-degree murder for allowing abuse that leads to a child's death.