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Griswold woman charged in infant grandson's death

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Griswold — A woman from Griswold has been charged in connection to the death of her infant grandson just days after her daughter, the baby's mother, admitted to suffocating the boy and was also arrested, according to state police.

Linda S. Kennison, 58, of 127 Slater Ave., Apt. D., was charged on Wednesday with risk of injury to a child. On Monday, her 35-year-old daughter Crystal L. Czyzewski, of the same address, was also charged with risk of injury to a child and with first-degree manslaughter, according to Connecticut State Police.

About 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, first responders received a 911 call from Crystal Czyzewski, who was "periodically crying" and said her baby was "all white," "pale," and "barely breathing," according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The 6-week-old was unresponsive and was taken to Backus Hospital in Norwich. He did not have a heartbeat when he arrived, according to the warrant.

He was then flown to Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford, where he received medical treatment for several days. He was pronounced dead on Sunday, according to police.

Eastern District Major Crime Squad detectives interviewed the baby's mother and grandmother. His mother "initially claimed she put the victim in his swing and left with a friend to go for a walk," but later admitted she suffocated him. She told detectives she placed a blanket over the baby's head and placed her "hand over the blanket and the victim's face for '20 minutes,'" and then "left the baby in the swing for the remainder of the day" before calling 911 that night.

Kennison, the grandmother, admitted that she knew the baby was not alive on the morning of Nov. 17 and "acknowledged she should have called the police but said she didn't know what to do," according to the warrant.

At 4 p.m. that day, the mother and daughter "devised a plan to put 'food' in the victim's mouth to 'make it look like the baby was still alive,'" the warrant said.

Kennison said her daughter called 911 about 9 p.m. and said she did not know her daughter had done anything to hurt the infant, according to the warrant.

Czyzewski had told police that her mother "knew the baby was not breathing, but they decided they would lie about it because she was concerned she would lose her 5-year-old if the truth was revealed."

During the interview, she told detectives that she had been "stressed out due to life" and "having two kids" and both kids were crying and it was "too much," the warrant said.

The results of a post-mortem examination by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were inconclusive, pending further studies, the warrant said.

A warrant for Kennison's arrest was issued on Tuesday and she was taken into custody without incident. She was being held in lieu of a $250,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Norwich on Friday.

Czyzewski was held in lieu of a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court next on Dec. 13. 

t.hartz@theday.com 

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