Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lisbon police calm disturbance at Salem child’s funeral

POSTED: July 27, 2010

LISBON - No new information was released regarding the death of 7-month-old Derek A. Dennison of Salem, but Lisbon Police had to respond to his funeral Monday after a fight nearly broke out and someone tried to take pictures of his body with a cell phone.
The first call came at 10:48 a.m. from a woman who said they needed officers at the Lisbon Cemetery chapel for a fight ready to break out at a funeral. Lisbon resident Rita Heim, maternal great-grandmother of the child, who died Friday, also called.
She told Chief John Higgins and Officer Shar Daub that she was having problems with her granddaughter, Miranda Todd, during the funeral for the baby identified as Derek Dennison. Todd was the child's mother. Heim said she was upset because of certain friends of Miranda's who showed up.
Todd said she was upset with Heim because she invited the Dennisons to the funeral and she didn't want them there. According to the report, she said that John Ingledue was the father of the baby and he and his family were there. She said they were waiting on the paternity test results.
According to the report, Daub got the mother to calm down, and since they weren't sure at this time, to allow everyone there to pay their respects. Police stood by until the service was over and everyone left.
Another call was reported at 10:50 a.m. from Brian Fullum, an investigator with the Columbiana County Coroner's Office, who said someone was trying to take pictures of the infant's body with a cell phone.
An officer responded to Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home on West Lincoln Way in Lisbon where Fullum identified Gerald Joy of Carrollton as the person taking the pictures. Joy told the officer he was only taking the pictures because he didn't have any of the child. He was told he needed to remove the pictures from his phone and if he wanted pictures to contact the family for one. He said he deleted the pictures in Fullum's presence. He left without further incident.
According to the child's obituary, he was born Dec. 23, 2009, the son of Greg Dennison Jr. and Miranda Todd.
No cause of death has been released, with Fullum saying autopsy investigations can take from four to six months.
The Salem Police Department is also investigating after responding at 12:38 a.m. Friday to the Salem Community Hospital Emergency Room where the child had been declared dead.
The child was reportedly taken to the hospital in an unresponsive state by his mother, 22, of 264 N. Ellsworth Ave. Apt. 4, Salem. Efforts to revive the child at that time failed.
Police Chief Bob Floor said events leading up to the death of the child remain unclear and are being investigated as suspicious out of protocol.
"We're investigating it as suspicious," he said. "It hasn't been declared suspicious but that's the way we go until we get the word otherwise."
On Friday, Floor noted there were no suspects in the case at that time, but there were multiple individuals being interviewed in an attempt to gather information about the incident.
The Columbiana County Sheriff's Office originally responded to the report, but immediate investigation determined that whatever occurred likely happened in the city.
Mary Ann Greier can be reached at mgreier@salemnews.net and Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net

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