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Coroner: Death of former Ohio AMBER Alert infant unexplained

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An autopsy has concluded that the death of one of two Ohio twin boys who became the center of a statewide AMBER Alert that garnered nationwide attention last year was due to “sudden unexplained infant death” that involved an “unsafe sleep environment.”

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office on Friday cited “no evidence of trauma, foul play, abuse, or neglect” in the Jan. 28 death of the 6-month-old Columbus boy.

The office said the child had been placed face-down on an adult bed with excess bedding and pillows, which it called an unsafe sleep environment, after being fed and was left unsupervised, but it could not be determined whether such “significant conditions” played a role in his death.

The coroner’s office said young infants have limited neck muscle strength to reposition their airway which can lead to a form of oxygen deprivation, but the office couldn’t confirm or exclude “a contributory component of mechanical or obstructive asphyxia” so the manner of the child’s death “is best ruled as undetermined.”

“The cause of death is ruled sudden unexplained infant death with other significant conditions including unsafe sleep environment; post-prandial infant placed facedown, unsupervised, on an adult bed, surrounded by excess pillows and blankets,” the coroner’s office said.

On Jan. 28, the boy’s mother reported that he had suffered a seizure and he later died at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Columbus police identified him as one of two boys who were the subject of an Amber Alert, used to publicize a child’s disappearance, after an idling car was taken Dec. 20 while their mother was picking up an order at a Columbus pizza restaurant.

One child was found hours later in a car carrier seat between two vehicles in a parking lot near Dayton International Airport, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) west of Columbus. Police officers in Indianapolis, which is 175 miles (282 kilometers) west of Columbus, found the other boy on the evening of Dec. 22 in an abandoned car that had been stolen three days earlier in Columbus, Ohio, authorities said.

Nalah Tamiko Jackson, 24, was arrested on kidnapping charges and was later indicted on two federal counts of kidnapping of a minor.