2009-12-10 / Front Page

Man Charged In Death Of 24-Month-Old

Needmore resident Shane Douglas Pittman charged Tuesday in local homicide case
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

A Needmore area man faces charges of criminal homicide this week after being accused of violently grabbing his girlfriend’s 24-month old daughter and dropping her into a bath tub leaving her with a head trauma and a severe hemorrhage at the base of her neck.

On December 2, Kylie Marie York was found lying on a couch in an unresponsive state by her mother, who returned home from work at approximately 1 p.m. Kylie had been in the care of the woman’s boyfriend 31-yearold Shane Douglas Pittman since 8 a.m. at the mother’s trailer located along Black Foot Drive just off Peach Orchard Road in McConnellsburg.

Kylie was immediately transported to the Fulton County Medical Center by the couple before being transferred to Hershey Medical Center where her unchanging condition was monitored for several days. She never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on Saturday, December 5, at 1:05 a.m.

An autopsy performed Monday by Dr. Samuel Land at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown revealed Kylie’s death was linked to a severe hemorrhage at the base of her neck, a whiplash-type injury to her upper spine/neck and blunt force trauma to the brain.

Pennsylvania State Police, McConnellsburg were initially alerted to the incident by case workers from Fulton County Services for Children. Fulton County Coroner Darryl Heckman was also informed of the case and provided assistance during the investigation.

During two interviews at Hershey Medical Center with Pittman, investigators learned the incident allegedly began when the toddler spit up rainbow sherbet on her pajamas at 11 a.m. last Wednesday morning. According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Tpr. Blaine Henderson, Pittman said he responded by quickly grabbing Kylie by the arms and ran her to bathroom.

“Pittman related that when he grabbed her by the arms her head/neck snapped back and forth (an estimated 10 times). Pittman related that he ran down the hallway, dropped her into the dry bathtub from approximately two feet and she landed on her butt and fell backwards onto her back,” Tpr. Henderson stated in the charging documents of the incident he publicly refers to as tragic and heart wrenching for all involved.

The girl, the report further states, cried and struggled to get up but was allegedly grabbed by the arms, waist and neck to keep her in the tub. “Pittman further related that her head, arms, shoulders and legs all banged the sides of the tub,” Tpr. Henderson added in the affidavit. Furthermore, Pittman indicated to state police he believed that the toddler was convulsing rather than shaking immediately following the bath.

The report concluded Kylie was bathed and clothed in clean pajamas by Pittman before being placed on the couch where she never awoke.

The toddler’s mother, Shannon Wood, confirmed for state police in spite of her daughter complaining of an ongoing stomach ache, she was in normal condition when she left her with Pittman that morning.

In addition to her mother, Kylie is survived by her father Arthur R. York II and companion Liz Parks of Marietta; local maternal grandparents Kelly Herr, McConnellsburg, and Michael, who is married to Linda Wood; and various other grandparents and great-grandparents. Her full obituary can be found on page B3 of the “News.”

Pittman of 3026 Gem Bridge Road, Needmore was taken into custody last Friday for a state parole violation. He is currently being held in State Correctional Institution Huntingdon.

As a result of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children charges being filed this week through Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott, Pittman’s arraignment has tentatively been set for Wednesday, December 9.

The tragic death of the 24- month-old girl, who was described by family as a ray of sunshine to everyone who knew her, has spawned a great deal of concern and sympathy across the area.

At a county level, work is already under way to create a fatality review team comprised of six individuals selected by Fulton County Services for Children. In connection with the Child Protective Services Act, the team is required to complete and submit a report to the Department of Public Welfare within 90 days of convening. The report is required to identify deficiencies and strengths in compliance with various statutes, regulations and services to children and families and provide recommendations for changes at a state and local level on reducing the likelihood of future fatalities and near fatalities.

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