Onondaga County jail. Credit: Chris Libonati | libonati@centralcurrent.org

The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an infant at the Syracuse jail.

The state attorney general’s office is looking into the death, a spokeswoman said.

A woman gave birth to the child at the Onondaga County Justice Center on Aug. 2, after carrying the child for 23 weeks, sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Jon Seeber said. The infant and the mother were taken to the hospital and the infant was pronounced dead, Seeber said.

AG investigators have not yet confirmed whether the child died at the jail or the hospital, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office said.

Infants born earlier than 38 weeks into pregnancy are considered premature, according to Mayo Clinic. Births before 25 weeks, called “extremely premature,” are at very high risk of complications.

The sheriff’s office did not notify the AG’s office of the infant’s death until Aug. 11, nine days after the child died.

The sheriff’s office has not yet identified the woman or said why she was incarcerated. The department has not said whether she is in custody at this time.

In 2021, three inmates died by suicide at the jail. All deaths at correctional facilities are investigated by the attorney general’s office.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said that the New York State Attorney General’s Office is “investigating” the death of an infant at the Onondaga County jail. The AG’s office is looking into the facts of the case, but has not opened a formal investigation, a spokeswoman said. A formal investigation will be opened if the facts indicate that a deputy could be culpable for the death, she said.

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Chris Libonati

Chris Libonati covers government, accountability and equity. Have a tip? Contact Chris at 585-290-0718 or libonati@centralcurrent.org.