Police: Man strangled his newborn son and hid the infant in a safe

By Terri Hill | November 23, 2018

After an extended investigation, police on Wednesday charged a 38-year-old Wampum man with killing his newborn son and hiding his body in a safe.

According to a criminal complaint, the Ellwood City police received information on Nov. 13, 2017, from UPMC Children’s Hospital that a 16-year-old had been sexually assaulted by Christopher Lee Kennedy.

Police alleged the teen had given birth to Kennedy’s baby last October at her home where she lived with her father and stepmother.

The teen told police that Kennedy was the baby’s father and when he found out she was pregnant, he told her they couldn’t have the baby because he would get into trouble, police said.

The teen also told police that Kennedy gave her herbal medicines that are known to be toxic to fetuses in an attempt to abort the baby, the complaint alleged.

Initially, the teen told police that she had killed the baby, but during a subsequent interview, she said the boy was born alive, and that Kennedy choked the baby to death and hid the infant in a safe in a bedroom closet.

After obtaining a search warrant, authorities found the infant wrapped in a blanket inside the safe that had been encased in concrete.

Police said that the investigation was prolonged due to the teen’s prolonged illness. She has undergone about 35 operations and was hospitalized for about eight months, and continues to receive medical treatment.

Although it cannot be used in court, police said the teen passed a polygraph concerning her allegations regarding Kennedy.

Police are also investigating allegations that Kennedy has fathered seven other children and that three of them are dead.

Kennedy was arrested around 6 p.m. and charged with homicide, sexual assault, abuse of a corpse statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, concealing the death of a child and several other offenses.

He is being held in the Lawrence County jail without bond.

Terri Hill can be contacted at terri.hill@grantstreetnews.com

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