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Indian River State College, local experts provide training to investigate unexplained infant deaths

FORT PIERCE— Indian River State College is partnering with experts from the State Attorney’s Office for the 19th Judicial Circuit and the Child Abuse Death Review Committee to train first responders in investigating unexplained infant deaths. The Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) Investigations Training course will take place on Thursday, October 6, and Friday, October 7, at IRSC’s Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex in Fort Pierce.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 3,400 babies in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly each year. Many of these deaths are attributed to accidental suffocation in a sleeping environment—sometimes called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But the specific causes of these deaths can be more complex and varied, so investigators have come up with the broader term Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) to describe any sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than one year old.

Connie Shingledecker, a retired major with the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, will provide the training at IRSC. Topics will include infant death scene investigation, witness interview techniques, the art of doll reenactments, and comprehensive narrative report writing skills. This training will give investigators the necessary knowledge and skills to complete Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Reporting Forms (SUIDIRF). It incorporates Guidelines for the Scene Investigator, endorsed by the National Sheriff’s Association, the National Association of Medical Examiners, the International Coroners and Medical Examiners Association and the American Board of Medico-legal Death Investigators.

“No parent should have to bury their child, and during what I consider the most unfortunate and difficult cases to investigate, it is paramount that IRSC partners with the State Attorney’s Office and the Child Abuse Death Review Committee,” said Dr. Raimundo J. Socorro, Dean of Public Service Education at IRSC.

For more information about the training program, contact Dr. Socorro at rsocorro@irsc.edu.

Media interested in covering the second day of training, which involves doll reenactments, should contact Jon Pine at jpine@irsc.edu.

About the IRSC School of Public Service Education

The Indian River State College School of Public Service Education offers 18 programs ranging from Bachelor and Associate degrees to technical certificates. It is housed at the IRSC Treasure Coast Public Safety Training Complex, one of the nation’s most comprehensive, technologically advanced public safety training facilities. The 50-acre, 8-building complex also supports advanced training for regional first responders.