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Mar 7, 2015 3:12 PM

Neighbor heard cries of baby who starved after mom died

The Associated Press

MILLVALE, Pa. (AP) A neighbor said he heard the cries of a 9-month-old boy who authorities believe later starved after his mother died of a possible overdose inside their Pittsburgh-area apartment.

William Gonzalez said he heard the cries of little Casey Kessler when he went in and out of the apartment building in Millvale but didn't think much of it at the time, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Saturday.

"If I was closer to the noise, I would have done something. I didn't know. I feel so guilty. I feel so bad," Gonzalez said. "The thought of that little kid running around after she died ... looking for food. That's what I'm upset about. It's such a helpless feeling."

The dead woman's brother found the bodies early Friday. He had gone to the apartment to check on his sister, 22-year-old Sara Kessler, after not hearing from her for several days.

Kessler may have died a week or two earlier, Assistant Allegheny County police Superintendent James Morton said Friday. She was found on her bed and her son in the living room. There was no sign of foul play.

Police suspect Sara Kessler died of a drug overdose. Autopsies were performed Saturday on Kessler and her son, but a ruling on the cause of death is pending.

Sara Kessler's mother died of natural causes in the same apartment in November, Morton said. No one else lived on their floor, he said.

Gonzalez and another tenant, Elizabeth Freismuth, said Kessler struggled to cope with her mother's death.

"She seemed so sad her mom was gone. I told her if she needed anything to ask me, but she never did," Freismuth told the newspaper. "She loved that little baby. He was such a beautiful little boy. She told me: 'I can't believe he's going to be almost a year old. He's getting so big.'"


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