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Baby’s Death Ruled Accidental, Still Under Investigation

NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, Pa. — We now know what caused an infant’s death that took place over the weekend in Luzerne County. The Luzerne County coroner say...

NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- We now know what caused an infant's death that took place over the weekend in Luzerne County.

The Luzerne County coroner says six-month-old Nora Riera, "died accidentally from asphyxiation by mechanical compression," or the child was physically in a position where she couldn't breathe.

Troopers tell us even though the coroner ruled this death an accident, it is still under investigation.

Nora Riera died inside her home on Arch Street in Newport Township, near Glen Lyon over the weekend.

The Luzerne County coroner says the baby's death was accidental and from asphyxiation by mechanical compression or physical compression of the child's chest or abdomen.

People in the neighborhood are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

"Surprised, we do know the family, but surprised and shocked a little bit," said neighbor Chris Miller.

State police went to the home Saturday after paramedics were called by someone inside. Shortly after, the house was condemned by Newport Township due to unfit living conditions. Four other children who authorities say lived in the home were removed by Children and Youth workers, along with several pets.

Neighbors tell Newswatch 16 Charlene Riera is the mother of the children. Riera would not speak to us about the living conditions inside the home before she attended a court hearing related to custody of the children.

Riera currently does not have custody of those children, but a neighbor says they are now in a safe place.

"They'll get the proper care they need to get their lives back together and move on. As far as anything else, we'll take it day by day, but they'll get there. The community's come together, so we'll be fine," Chris Miller said.

State police tell us that even though the baby's death was ruled an accident, the conditions inside the house and what led to the death are still under investigation by state police and the Luzerne County district attorney's office.