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Louisiana Parents Charged with Murder After Newborn Son Sustained ‘5.1-Inch Skull Fracture,’ Multiple Rib Fractures, and Internal Bleeding

John Franklin Noehl and Analise Bussone Noehl via the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

John Franklin Noehl and Analise Bussone Noehl via the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office.

A husband and wife in Louisiana were arrested this week for brutally beating their newborn child to death, law enforcement authorities say. Analise Bussone Noehl and John Franklin Noehl, ages 33 and 35, respectively, were taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count each of first-degree murder in the horrific death of their 8-week-old son, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Law&Crime.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel on May 24, 2022, responded to a call about an unresponsive infant at a residence located in the 3900 block of Meadow Ridge Drive. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders performed CPR before transporting the baby to the Ochsner Heal Center – O’Neal in critical condition.

Because the child appeared to have sustained life-threatening injuries, homicide detectives with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the hospital where they questioned the child’s parents.

Per the affidavit, John Noehl told investigators that the victim and the boy’s 2-year-old brother were playing on the back patio of the home together. John said he then fed the victim and brought the baby inside the home, where he placed him in a “portable bouncing baby rocker.” John continued, telling investigators that he walked back out to the patio briefly and when he returned inside to check on the baby, he saw the boy “wheezing, gasping for air, then becoming unresponsive.” He claimed he performed CPR on his son until EMS arrived and took over the procedure.

Analise Noehl allegedly told police that she was asleep when her son sustained his fatal injuries and was only awakened by her husband afterward.

Asked about any previous instances where the baby could have sustained any physical injuries, John allegedly said that the victim had fallen out of the portable baby rocker approximately 4 weeks prior to sustaining his fatal injuries. Per the affidavit, John said he and Analise did not seek medical treatment after the boy’s initial fall from the rocker.

However, the medical staff found evidence that appeared to directly contradict the parents’ explanations about the circumstances of their son’s injuries.

“The medical staff informed the affiant that the victim sustained a skull fracture, internal bleeding, fixed pupils, intracranial hemorrhaging, rib fractures, and visible bruising to the infant’s lower back,” a detective wrote in the affidavit. “The medical staff further stated the rib fractures had started to show calcium deposits, and the injuries were in the healing stages. These injuries were likely sustained approximately 14-28 days prior.”

Doctors further informed investigators that performing CPR on the baby would not have caused the broken ribs or lower back injuries he sustained, concluding that he was the victim of “non-accidental trauma,” police wrote.

Due to the severity of the baby’s injuries, doctors transferred him to New Orleans Children’s Hospital for more specialized care. Though he clung to life for several days, the infant ultimately succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at approximately 2:41 p.m. on Friday, May 27.

A pathologist with the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office on May 31 performed an autopsy on the victim and catalogued a more detailed record of his injuries.

“The Pathologist advised the victim sustained a 5.1-inch skull fracture to the right side of his head,” the affidavit stated. “In addition, the infant suffered three broken ribs on the right side, and two broken ribs on the left side.”

The pathologist concurred with the conclusion that the victim’s rib fractures were 14 to 28 days old but noted that the skull fracture “did not show signs of healing, suggesting that this injury occurred more recently than fractured ribs.” Based on the examination, the pathologist ruled that the victim’s manner of death was a homicide.

Police emphasized that the victim had “only been in the care and supervision” of his parents since his birth and said his injuries would have been “evident to anyone that would have changed or bathed him” in requesting a warrant to arrest John and Analise on the charge of first-degree murder.

John and Analise were both scheduled to appear before Judge Brad Myers in East Baton Rouge Court on Thursday morning for their initial appearances.

Read the affidavit, below:

[image via East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.