Grandmother Arrested in Connection to 6-Week-Old's Death in Griswold

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NBC Connecticut

A grandmother in Griswold has been arrested in connection to the death of her 6-week-old grandson last week. The baby's mother has also been arrested, according to police.

Emergency crews were called to a home on Slater Avenue on November 17 after 35-year-old Crystal Czyzewski called 911 to report her baby was barely breathing, looked pale, and that "stuff was coming from his nose." according to the arrest warrant application.

The baby was rushed to Backus Hospital in Norwich before being taken to Connecticut Children's in Hartford where he arrived in cardiac arrest.

Doctors there were able to resuscitate the 6-week-old boy, but he died on Sunday, police said.

State police detectives interviewed Czyzewski Monday and she initially told them she put the baby in a swing and left with a friend to go for a walk. She later told the detectives that the story wasn't true and that her mother, 58-year-old Linda Kennison, told her to lie about what happened, according to the arrest warrant application.

Police say Czyzewski later told them the infant and her 5-year-old child were both crying and it was "too much." She admitted to placing a blanket over the baby's face while he was in the swing and then placing her hand over the blanket and the infant's face for 20 minutes until she believed he was dead, according to the arrest warrant application. She told detectives she left the child in the swing for the rest of the day.

Czyzewski told police she and Kennison decided to lie about what happened because she was afraid she would lose her 5-year-old child as well, police said. Czyzewski said Kennison knew the child was not breathing, but didn't know the infant had been suffocated, according to the arrest warrant application.

An arrest warrant was applied for and granted for Kennison in connection to the child's death, police said. She was taken into custody on Wednesday and is facing a risk of injury to a child charge. She will appear in Norwich Superior Court on Friday.

Czyzewski was charged with first-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a child. She was held on $500,000 and was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

The Department of Children and Families has placed the 5-year-old child with a family member, according to police.

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