Baby who was decapitated during delivery at Georgia hospital is ruled a homicide

Medical examiners have ruled the death of an infant decapitated during childbirth delivery as a homicide.

On July 9, 2023, 20-year-old Jessica Ross went into labor at Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia, according to a lawsuit (obtained by CNN) filed by the family.

A medic attempted to deliver her baby, named Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr., using different methods, such as "applying traction to the baby’s head," however, the infant reportedly became stuck due to shoulder dystocia - a condition when a baby’s shoulders become stuck in the vaginal canal.

The filing alleges that Dr. Tracy St. Julian tried for hours to deliver Treveon vaginally so before midnight, the decision was made to perform a Cesarean section and the baby's body was delivered, while the head was delivered vaginally.

The lawsuit claims that Dr. St. Julian did not tell Ross and her family about the decapitation when she spoke to them at around 5AM on July 10, as reported by Fox 5.

It also claims that the hospital prevented the mother and father, Treveon Taylor Sr., from seeking an autopsy, stating that a free autopsy was not a choice for them under the circumstances. Instead, they reportedly tried to pressure the couple into having their son cremated instead of being sent to a funeral home.
When the new parents demanded to see and hold their infant, the baby was reportedly tightly covered with a blanket so his head "propped on top of his body" to hide the fact that he was decapitated.

According to ANF, it was Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home that told the medical examiner and the family of the tot's decapitation. "I just felt a sense of urgency to say, hey listen, this is not right, this is not right. Never seen it before," Sylvania Watkins, general manager of the funeral home said last August.

Watkins found it strange that she received a decapitated baby from a hospital and not the medical examiner's office or police, adding: "With the body and the head being detached, we should have retrieved this body from the coroner’s office. When that did not happen, that’s when I said we need to reach out and back up and do it right."

The news of the baby's decapitation caused "immediate, profound emotional and mental anguish" for the parents, the 2023 complaint shared, per ANF.

"They were so excited about the birth of their first child," the couple’s attorney Cory Lynch told Associated Press. "Unfortunately, their dreams and hopes turned into a nightmare that was covered up by Southern Regional Medical Center."
On Tuesday (February 6), the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the horrific incident involving newborn Treveon Jr. a homicide, per PEOPLE.

The medical examiner’s office explained that the cause of death of Treveon Taylor was a "fracture dislocation with complete transection (to the) upper cervical spine and spinal cord," and that his death was caused by shoulder dystocia, arrest of labor, and fetal entrapment in the birth canal.

The medical examiner's office also added that pregnancy-induced diabetes and premature rupture of membranes contributed to his tragic passing. Furthermore, The Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office alleged that Treveon's death was caused by the "actions of another person".

Law enforcement said they are no longer in charge of the investigation. A decision on whether charges could be filed against the doctor who delivered the baby will be decided by the District Attorney’s Office.

Our thoughts are with Ross and Taylor at this devastating time.

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