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Windber baby dies 20 days after mother is shot

Updated: Friday, June 27 2014, 02:43 PM EDT


PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- A baby delivered by emergency caesarian section after her mother was shot in Somerset County nearly three weeks ago has died in a Pittsburgh hospital. 

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office issued a death certificate Friday morning for 20-day-old Abrianna Lyric Kovalcik. Abrianna died at 1:13 a.m. Friday at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

The Medical Examiner's Office said Abrianna's autopsy would be performed by the Cambria County Coroner's Office.


"The baby was brought back to Conemaugh [Memorial Medical Center] because that's where the mother's autopsy was also performed," said Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees.


Abrianna's mother, Caressa Kovalcik, was shot at an apartment in Windber on May 31. She was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown where she died, but doctors were able to deliver Abrianna by C-section.


Police said Kovalcik's boyfriend and Abrianna's father, 25-year-old Denver Blough, is the person who shot Kovalcik. He is being held in the Somerset County Prison without bail and has been charged with homicide. The couple also had an 11-month-old son.


The Somerset County District Attorney's Office and the Pennsylvania State Police said in a joint statement, "If the status of Commonwealth vs. Denver Blough should change as a result of the autopsy results; a media release will be transmitted at that time. Again, this could take six to eight weeks."


"The Cambria County Coroner's Office has been instrumental with its assistance in this, and continues to play a vital role in this investigation and the circumstances leading to Abrianna's death," said Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser.


Lee's released preliminary results from the autopsy Friday, ruling Abrianna's death a homicide.


"The preliminary indications are that the baby died from lack of oxygenated blood going to the brain because of the mother's death," Lees said.


State police and Windber police are continuing to investigate the case. Additional information about the circumstances surround the baby's death were not released.


The family's attorney, Matt Zatko, released this statement:


"It was with immense sadness that Bob and Anne Kovalcik informed us of the passing of their granddaughter, Abrianna Lyric Kovalcik. They would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers while also requesting that their privacy and that of their family be respected during this incredibly difficult time."


According to online court documents, Blough has a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 31.a

Windber baby dies 20 days after mother is shot

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times