Death of Ludlow baby ruled a homicide

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LUDLOW, Vt. (WCAX) Investigators are now calling the death of an 11-month-old child back in January a homicide.

The child, Karsen Rickert, was taken from his home in Ludlow and died the next day at a New Hampshire hospital.

At the time, police called it an unexplained death and would not say whether it was considered suspicious. Now, six months later, investigators say it was a homicide.

So why did it take so long for these results to come back? The release of the cause of death all has to do with where the child died. Vermont State Police Spokesman Adam Silverman said because the baby died in a New Hampshire hospital, the medical examiner there was in charge of the autopsy and report.

"Initially, if you get a hold of that document, you'll see that the initial findings from the autopsy back in January were inconclusive. So, the medical examiner's office had to conduct its own investigation before they could rule conclusively on cause and manner of death," Silverman said.

The cause of death for Rickert was "asphyxia due to strangulation and/or smothering." WCAX News tried to get a copy of the autopsy report but the medical examiner's office said an autopsy report in New Hampshire only goes to next of kin and police.

Rickert is the son of Abigail Wood and Nicholas Rickert. The child lived in the Ludlow home with his mother and her boyfriend, Tyler Pollender-Savery.

No one answered when we knocked on the door at the home Wednesday. We also stopped by neighbors' homes but no one would speak to us.

Police say no charges have been filed so far and the investigation is ongoing.