Pennsylvania Mom Accused of Smothering Infant Son to Death, Staging Scene to Look Like He Died in Crib

Pennsylvania Man Accused of Smothering Infant Son to Death, Staging Scene to Look Like He Died in Crib
Pennsylvania Man Accused of Smothering Infant Son to Death, Staging Scene to Look Like He Died in Crib

A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with criminal homicide and strangulation in connection with the alleged killing of her infant son, per authorities. 

Patricia Hullenbaugh, 21, was arrested on Wednesday, nearly three weeks after the death of her 9-month-old son, the Indiana Borough Police Department said in a statement to University.

  • Patricia Hullenbaugh allegedly told police she found her son “hanging partially outside the crib,” a criminal complaint states, per WPXI
  • She later allegedly admitted to covering the infant’s face until he stopped crying and then realized he was no longer breathing, per police
  • Hullenbaugh allegedly further admitted she positioned his body in a certain way in an attempt to avoid culpability, per police

WTAE has identified her son as Waylon Long.

Authorities responded to a home in Indiana Borough, Pa., on Jan. 6 after receiving a report of an unresponsive infant, the police statement said. When they arrived, they saw Waylon was not breathing and did not have a pulse. 

CPR efforts from officers, medics, and the child’s father helped the baby regain his pulse, after which Waylon was soon sent to the hospital, the statement said.  

But on Jan. 11, he passed away, police said. 

Authorities continued their investigation into the circumstances of the boy’s death. During the initial investigation, Hullenbaugh allegedly told police that she found Waylon “hanging partially outside the crib, with his face down on the mattress of the crib” after she’d put him in for a nap, WPXI reported, citing a criminal complaint. 

But during several subsequent interviews, Hullenbaugh allegedly kept changing her story, police said, CBS News reported.

A follow-up interview with Hullenbaugh on Jan. 24 led police to her eventual arrest on Jan. 31, police said in their statement to University.

Pennsylvania mom Accused of Smothering Infant Son to Death, Staging Scene to Look Like He Died in Crib
Pennsylvania mom Accused of Smothering Infant Son to Death, Staging Scene to Look Like He Died in Crib

During that interview, she allegedly admitted to authorities that she had put a blanket over her son’s head “until he stopped crying,” the statement said. When she removed the blanket, the child was not breathing, according to the statement.

She then allegedly “positioned” his body “in a specific way to hide her involvement” instead of reaching out for help, according to the statement.

Hullenbaugh allegedly “panicked” and placed the child between the slats in an attempt to “cover up” her actions, a criminal complaint states, WPXI reported.

She allegedly admitted that she didn’t wake up the boy’s father until 15 minutes after the incident, per the complaint. 

The father, Kody Long, told WTAE that his son died on the day he would have turned 10 months old.

He said Waylon was happy and loved, per the outlet.

“He would just sit there and giggle and belly laugh about it for hours,” Kody said.

In addition to homicide and strangulation charges, Hullenbaugh is also charged with child endangerment and possession of a crime instrument, online court records show. She is being held without bail.

No attorney information was available and it’s not clear if she has entered a plea. Her next court appearance is Feb. 8.