Bellefonte woman charged in infant death

BELLEFONTE — A Bellefonte woman is being charged in the death of her infant child, who died in March.

According to the Spring Township Police Department, Amanda Schoen faces charges related to endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

Authorities say they were called to Schoen’s home in the early morning hours of March 1 for reports of an unresponsive child. According to police, they interviewed Schoen at that time. She explained that the baby had been put to sleep in a bassinet containing a “boppy pillow.” Schoen says she later found the child with purple lips.

Police say the baby was flown to Geisinger in Danville. The child died there.

According to police, Schoen called them on April 26 and asked if she was going to be charged for the child’s death. Then, on May 16, investigators say the received a call from a concerned mental health case worker about the infant’s death and that Schoen had reportedly disclosed she planned to kill the baby.

Police then interviewed Schoen May 17.

They say she stated, “my main concern with being charged was that I was not following through with safe sleeping” and “you’re not supposed to have ‘boppy pillows’ in there with them.”

Police say that Schoen explained that she had learned safe sleeping practices from a Nurse Family Partnership program.

Also on May 17, police say the Centre County coroner told them that Schoen asked if the autopsy found any trauma on the neck, arms or legs, which officials noted as an odd question.

Police say they received two Childline reports the next day. The first involved Schoen’s mother, who reported that Schoen had placed a cat in a cooler six or seven years ago until it died, police say.

The second Childline report, police said, talked about Schoen telling another client that she was going to kill the baby. Schoen denied that she ever made a comment about killing her baby, police say.

They say she explained that she did tell other people she wanted an abortion when she was four or five months pregnant. Investigators noted that Schoen did not show any emotion when talking about the death of her child. Police say Schoen gave four different stories related to how the child died.

Schoen stated that she believed the baby was smothered by a “boppy pillow” and she knew it was reckless and was told by her nurse not to put anything in the pack an play, according to police.

Police say they asked Schoen if her actions killed the child and Schoen said: “no, well technically yes by putting the ‘boppy pillow’ in (the baby’s) pack and play. So yes it was my actions and my decision because I decided to put that pillow in with (the infant),” according to the criminal complaint.

The final coroner’s report — released on June 10 — ruled the child’s death as “undetermined.”


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