Boy suffocated by mattress used to stop escapes

Associated Press

Myerstown, Pa. — A Pennsylvania couple have been jailed on charges they tied and weighting down a mattress on top of their son’s crib so he couldn’t climb out, leading him to suffocate.

Twenty-nine-year-old Justin Dwyer and 28-year-old Courtney Stash were arraigned Wednesday on involuntary manslaughter and other counts in the April death of their 2-year-old son.

Detectives say the Myerstown couple was weighing down the mattress with two 50-pound bags of rock salt and securing it with bungee cords.

A police affidavit says they did not mention covering the crib when interviewed. Police say a few days later, their 8-year-old son told them of the alleged practice.

Police say the boy suffocated when his head got caught between the crib and overlying mattress.

The couple’s lawyers didn’t immediately return calls.