2006_10_shakenbaby.jpgPreston Hertzog, the 4 month old baby whose brain suffered serious injuries possibly due to his parents's shaking, died Wednesday at Schneider Children's Hospital in New Hyde Park. Parents Antonio Patterson and Tamira Hertzog had been investigated by the Administration for Children's Services over the 2000 death of an infant and were currently meeting with ACS over abuse claims on another child, and the couple hid Hertzog's pregnancy from ACS workers. They were called "extremely evasive" by ACS commissioner John Mattingly.

The City Council held hearings questioning Mattingly about the ACS's efforts monitoring case, bringing up other incident where children have died while the caregivers are being investigated by ACS. The city also announced they would start a subway and radio advertising campaign to encourage people to report abuse. The sad thing is that in some of these cases, abuse has been reported, but the ACS has a difficult time following up (huge caseloads, only so many workers...). The ME's office will conduct an autopsy on Preston. Patterson and Hertzog have been questioned but have not been charged with any crime yet. Their other children have been placed in foster care.

And another shaken baby case is in the news: A nanny was sentenced to 10 years in jail after shaking a 5 day old girl to the point where the child has severe brain damage. The girl's mother, Vanessa Donohue, even made the judge cry when giving a victim impact statement.