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Indiana County Mother Behind Bars Charged With Homicide

Police in Indiana County say a local mother is behind bars following an investigation into the death of her 9-month-old infant son.

Authorities say on January 6, officers were dispatched to a residence in Indiana Borough for reports on an unresponsive infant child.

Police say the child reportedly did not have a pulse and was not breathing.

According to the affidavit, police say the infant regained a pulse at the hospital and was later transferred to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Investigators say officers began interviewing the child’s parents, including the mother, identified as 21-year-old Patricia Hullenbaugh.

Police say Hullenbaugh claimed that she had put the child down for a nap, in his crib, and when she returned to check on him, approximately an hour later, he was reportedly found “hanging” partially outside of the crib with his face down on the mattress.

Authorities say she also stated that she then yelled for help from the child’s father, at which time he reportedly instructed her to call 911 while he began performing life-saving measures.

Upon further investigation, police say officers learned that the child had passed away on January 11.

Police say they later conducted “reenactments” with the parents, of how the child was found, at which time officers say Hullenbaugh allegedly changed her story and said that she checked on the infant three times because “he was nonstop crying.”

Police say she also admitted that she became “frustrated” with the child’s crying.

Authorities say after the child passed away, police further questioned Hullenbaugh about the death of her son, at which time she allegedly admitted to “smothering” the infant by applying pressure to his head/face area with a blanket.

Police say after the child stop breathing, Hullenbaugh stated that she “panicked” and staged the slats of the crib to “cover up what she did.”

Investigators say she also reportedly admitted to waiting 15 minutes before she woke up the child’s father and asked for help.

Officers say she did end her interview by saying that she regretted not getting help for her child sooner.

According to online court records, Hullenbaugh was arraigned Wednesday on a variety of charges, including criminal homicide, child endangerment and strangulation.

She is being held in the Indiana County Jail and her bail was denied.

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