Dets Hamm RicheySMALLDetectives Dustin Hamm and David Richey of the Benton Police Department recently attended a training course with Allyn West of the Saline County Coroners pertaining to investigations of sudden and unexplained death of an infant (a child less than 12 months of age). The Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation (SUIDI) Training is a voluntary training used to enhance the cognition and skills of the Death Investigators and the Criminal Investigators.

Sudden unexplained infant death (SUID) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant in which the manner and cause of death are not immediately obvious. These deaths require a comprehensive scene investigation, autopsy and review of clinical records.

The SUIDI Training, which is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, teaches attendees infant growth and development; differentiation between the types of SUID (including asphyxiation, entrapment, wedging, occlusion of upper airway, etc.). Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS); interviewing psychology; conducting witness interviews, scene investigations, doll reenactment; and pre- and post-autopsy reporting.

Proper death scene investigation (DSI) will assist in accurately identifying the cause and manner of death in order to increase accuracy of reporting, guide research and influence the development of interventions. Proper DSI will assist the family by providing an accurate explanation for their loss, and will allow for appropriate referrals and counseling.

The SUIDI Training in Arkansas was developed and is taught by Dr. Pamela Tabor, DNP-Forensics and Director of the Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review Program; Patrick Moore, Faulkner County Coroner, President of the AR Coroner’s Association and Diplomat of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators; and Kevin Cleghorn, Saline County Coroner, Diplomat of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators and National Registered Paramedic. The training was sponsored by the Arkansas Commission on Child Abuse, Rape and Domestic Violence.