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Published: Thursday, 8/12/2004

Seneca County couple guilty in death of infant

TIFFIN - A Seneca County couple pleaded no contest yesterday to charges related to the death in January of their 4-month-old daughter and were found guilty, said Ken Egbert, Jr., county prosecutor.

Jennifer Elchert, 26, was found guilty of endangering children, a felony, and Kenneth J. Elchert, 43, was found guilty of complicity to endangering children, a misdemeanor.

The couple, of Seneca County's Eden Township, were parents of Kaleigha, who was found dead Jan. 7 by paramedics responding to a 911 call from the Elchert residence.

The cause was sudden infant death syndrome, the prosecutor said. But a monitor to alert parents of infant apnea was discontinued by the Elcherts a month before Kaleigha's death, Mr. Egbert said. The couple's four other children were removed from the home by order of the county juvenile court.

Mrs. Elchert was found guilty of attempted endangering children in 2001.

Common Pleas Judge Michael P. Kelbley will schedule sentencing after he receives a presentence investigative report.

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