By Ken Stephens
The Hutchinson News
Rob Heironimus of Burrton was arrested Thursday by Harvey County Sheriff's officers on a charge of aggravated child endangerment stemming from the suffocation death of his 8-month-old son last month.
The investigation began on May 30, when emergency medical personnel were called to the Heironimus home in Burrton because the child, Matthew Heironimus, was not breathing.
The child was taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. However, tests revealed no brain activity and the child died shortly after a ventilator was removed on June 4.
According to a press release from Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton, Rob Heironimus placed Matthew on a leather couch, went outside to work on a motorcycle and told his 8-year old-son and 5-year-old daughter to watch Matthew.
The children eventually came outside, and Heironimus, 43, told them to go back inside. When they did, according to Walton, the 8-year-old boy noticed that Matthew was stuck face down between the back of the couch and the cushion.
When the boy was unable to dislodge his younger brother, he called for his father for help. Heironimus came into the house, called 911 and began CPR.
Walton reported that investigators saw a play pen in the living room that would have been the proper place to put Matthew instead of the leather couch.
"A lack of adult supervision added to the tragedy of this case," Walton said.
The two other children have been placed with their maternal grandparents.
Walton also said that the condition of the home was deplorable and that the State Department for Children and Families is working with the family and the home is being cleaned and repaired to make it livable and safe again.
Rob Heironimus was released on bond after being booked into the Harvey County Detention Center.
Heironimus is currently under Community Corrections supervision after being convicted of charges stemming from an incident in which he struck a pedestrian with his motorcycle on Hutchinson's Main Street in May 2012.
The victim, Jeff Nusser, had to have a leg amputated below the knee.
Heironimus, who said he didn't realize he had hit a person, was convicted of felony charges of leaving the scene of an injury accident that resulted in great bodily harm and failure to report an injury accident. He also was convicted of misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license, having an expired tag and failure to give information.
He potentially faces two years in prison if he is found to have violated the terms of his 18-month probation.
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