Woman, boyfriend arrested after toddlers injured, later die

Dec 12, 2022, 7:59 PM | Updated: Dec 13, 2022, 10:02 am

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman and her boyfriend have been charged after two toddlers were hospitalized and later died, officials said.

Ciera Nicole Gillespie, 25, and Thomas Wesley Cunningham, 27, were arrested Friday, news outlets reported, citing a statement from the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office. Gillespie was charged with child neglect resulting in death and child neglect resulting in injury. Cunningham was charged with child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in injury.

Emergency responders were called to Gillespie’s home in Buckhannon on Nov. 28 when she returned from a store and found her 2-year-old son limp and with blood coming out of his mouth and nose, according to a criminal complaint filed in Upshur County Magistrate Court. The complaint said that Gillespie told officers that as the ambulance was leaving, Cunningham told her something also was wrong with her 1-year-old son. He also was hospitalized.

The 2-year-old died Nov. 30 at Ruby Memorial Hospital, the complaint said. The 1-year-old died Saturday and Upshur County Sheriff Virgil Miller told news outlets on Monday that the charges against the couple would be updated.

A doctor on the West Virginia University medical staff told an officer that the deaths of both toddlers were consistent with “shaken baby” syndrome, news outlets reported, citing court records.

Gillespie told West Virginia State Police that she believed Cunningham was under the influence of a controlled substance by the way he was acting when she left the children in his care, the complaint said.

Attorneys representing Gillespie and Cunningham did not immediately return calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

21 hours ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

2 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

3 days ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

4 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

5 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

6 days ago

Woman, boyfriend arrested after toddlers injured, later die