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Baby Who Was Decapitated During Delivery's Death Ruled a Homicide by Medical Examiner

The first-time parents previously claimed that the medical staff "propped [their newborn's head] on top of his body" to conceal the fact that he was decapitated

<p>Sudhin Thanawala/AP Photo</p> Attorney Roderick Edmond, from left, joined by Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Sr., Jessica Ross and attorney Cory Lynch

Sudhin Thanawala/AP Photo

Attorney Roderick Edmond, from left, joined by Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Sr., Jessica Ross and attorney Cory Lynch

The death of an infant who was decapitated during delivery has been ruled a homicide.

On Tuesday, the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the July 10, 2023 incident involving newborn Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Jr. a homicide, multiple news outlets confirmed.

PEOPLE reached out to the medical examiner’s office for a statement, but did not immediately hear back.

On July 9, Jessica Ross, 20, was rushed to Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale, Georgia after her water broke.

<p>ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock</p> Southern Regional Medical Center hospital in Riverdale, Georgia

ERIK S LESSER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Southern Regional Medical Center hospital in Riverdale, Georgia

According to a fraud and negligence lawsuit filed last summer by Ross and her partner Treveon Isaiah Taylor Sr., their baby’s shoulders became stuck in her vaginal canal and she could not give birth naturally "due to shoulder dystocia.”

The medical examiner’s report this week found the baby’s death was due to “shoulder dystocia, arrest of labor, and fetal entrapment in the birth canal,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Tuesday.

Last year’s suit claimed that attending physician Dr. Tracey St. Julian “negligently applied excessive traction” on the baby’s head and the hospital “failed to do a Cesarean section in a timely and proper manner," per CNN. Additionally, it said it resulted in "Treveon Isaiah Taylor Jr.’s decapitation and death.”

The baby’s body and legs were removed during a subsequent C-section procedure, but the baby’s head was delivered vaginally, the Associated Press reported.

The baby, who was the couple’s first child, had been delivered full-term. Ross and Taylor also claimed that the staff attempted to talk them out of an autopsy, and it wasn’t until they had already been discharged from the hospital that they found out about the decapitation.

Per Atlanta’s Fox 5 News, when the new parents asked if they could see and hold their newborn, the baby was reportedly tightly wrapped in a blanket with his head "propped on top of his body" to conceal the fact that he was decapitated.

Related: Woman, 28, Dies 'Unexpectedly' Giving Birth to Her First Child: 'She Would Be the Best Mother'

“This caused immediate, profound emotional and mental anguish for [them]... emotional and mental anguish that they continue to experience and most probably will experience for the rest of their lives,” the 2023 complaint said, per WANF.

“They were so excited about the birth of their first child,” the couple’s attorney Cory Lynch previously told AP. “Unfortunately, their dreams and hopes turned into a nightmare that was covered up by Southern Regional Medical Center.”

<p>Sudhin Thanawala/AP Photo</p> Attorney Cory Lynch, left, joined by Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Sr. and Jessica Ross

Sudhin Thanawala/AP Photo

Attorney Cory Lynch, left, joined by Treveon Isaiah Taylor, Sr. and Jessica Ross

PEOPLE reached out to Lynch for comment following the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s Office’s homicide ruling on Monday, but did not immediately hear back.

Lynch and attorney Roderick E. Edmond, who both represent Ross and Taylor, are expected to hold a press conference on the case Wednesday.

According to previous reports, it was Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home that informed the medical examiner and the family of the newborn’s decapitation.

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The Clayton County Police Department said they are no longer in charge of the investigation, per the AJS. A decision on whether charges could be filed against the doctor who delivered the baby will be decided by the District Attorney’s Office.

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, the Southern Regional Medical Center previously said, “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with the family and all those impacted by this tragic event. Our prayers also remain with the dedicated team of physicians, nurses and staff at Southern Regional Medical Center who cared for this patient."

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