Death of infant boy being investigated by medical examiner

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is investigating the death of an infant boy who was one-day shy of being two months old. That boy is identified as Traven Williams Jr.

Initial reports from the Medical Examiner's Office say the child was co-sleeping with its mother on a full-size mattress at a home near 28th and Fond du Lac Ave. on Milwaukee's north side.

Family members of the child say Traven was laying on the bed next to his mother when she sensed something was wrong.

"When she looked at him, he wasn't breathing. She woke me up. I was sleeping on the floor," the child's father, Traven Williams said.

Williams immediately called 911 for help.

"They told me to put him up on the floor, hold his neck up and put my two index fingers up on him and that's what I did," Williams said.

But it was too late. The child was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. Williams contends the child's mother never even fell asleep -- so it couldn't be co-sleeping.

"She ain't roll over. She was woke with him the whole time," Williams said.

However, health officials argue a baby's surroundings can be just as dangerous as a co-sleeper.

"It's really about the basics. Always alone, in a pack and play, on their back," Jessica Gathirimu from the Milwaukee Health Department said.

The infant death comes as Columbia St. Mary's and church leaders across Milwaukee prepare for the second annual "Safe Sleep Sabbath." It's a day when congregations will focus their attention on safe sleep practices for infants.

"The personal contact, the trusting relationship of a clergy is really what delivers the message to many people," Bill Solberg of Columbia St. Mary's said.

It's a message we've seen and heard time and time again. Proponents of safe sleeping say they won't quit sharing it anytime soon.

An autopsy on the infant was expected to be complete Tuesday afternoon.

Parents who cannot afford a proper crib for their child can visit any City of Milwaukee health center and receive one.

CLICK HERE for additional Safe Sleeping tips via the City of Milwaukee's website.

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