The Gazette (Montreal)

Mother charged in infant's death

Police say autopsy showed child died of shaken-baby syndrome

Saturday, October 12, 2002
Montreal Gazette

The mother of a 5-week-old Longueuil baby girl who died during the summer has been charged with manslaughter.

Sylvie Ridard, 24, appeared in Longueuil court yesterday to face the charge. Constable Gaétan Durocher, a spokesman for the Longueuil police, said a pathologist determined early in the investigation that Celeste Ridard had died of what medical experts refer to as shaken-baby syndrome. It is caused when a person shakes a baby with such violence that bones break or fragile blood vessels are damaged.

According to the police, Sylvie Ridard's new boyfriend at the time tried to feed the baby with a bottle and noticed that she was not breathing.

Attempts were made to resuscitate the baby and she was eventually taken to Ste. Justine Hospital in critical condition. She was declared dead on July 26, more than 12 hours after ambulance technicians were alerted to her state.

Durocher said that after a lengthy investigation, including interviews with several witnesses, police officers met with Ridard on Thursday night.

She is to remain in custody until her next court appearance, scheduled for next week.

© Copyright 2002 Montreal Gazette