Police say birth defect caused death of infant in foster care

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 at 10:43pm
Staff reports

The February death of a 12-week-old boy born on the Nashville streets and later moved to foster care was the result of complications from a birth defect, according to officials.

Metro police ruled the manner of death as natural, following the conclusion of the Medical Examiner’s Office this week that Cherokeewolf William Diedrich died Feb. 2 from a defect involving his heart and brain while he was in the custody of his foster parents, Todd and Cheri Green.

The Greens have officially been cleared of any wrongdoing. 

The boy was hospitalized Jan. 9 after Todd Green called 911, later telling police that he discovered the boy unconscious and not breathing. Police first investigated the death as a homicide after Diedrich was diagnosed with severe head trauma at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt. 

That investigation prompted the state Department of Children’s Services to take the Greens’ biological daughter Rebekah, who was 2 at the time, into custody.

Analysis by Associate Medical Examiner Dr. Adele Lewis found that a defect as well as an abnormal heart rhythm caused the bleeding in Diedrich’s brain that officials initially attributed to outside force.

Kimberlee Diedrich, homeless at the time, gave birth to the boy on Nov. 9 on 2nd Avenue in downtown Nashville. Children’s Services took custody of the child shortly thereafter, later placing him in the care of the Greens. 

After the night Diedrich was found unconscious, he remained on life support at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, where he later died.

DCS required that Rebekah stay with her grandparents for 47 days while the homicide theory was investigated. They were reunited in early March. The Greens have since relocated to Florida. 

1 Comment on this post:

By: TIDDYBEAR on 9/16/10 at 9:08

"diagnosed with severe head trauma". There must have been SOMETHING besides bleeding of the brain to make them come to that conclusion. But, Lord FORBID we do any investigation that would cast a shadow on DCS, or the foster
parents! Children are about 10 times more likely to be abused or DIE in foster care than they are in their own home!

"DCS required that Rebekah stay with her grandparents". They were lucky in that respect. When DCS kidnapped our son we were flat told NO when we requested that he be released to the custody of his grandmother.

"The Greens have reloacated to Florida". News flash!! Florida's child "protecitve" services is no better than Tennessee. Actually they are probably worse.