Murder charge overturned in infant's death after key evidence goes missing

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's Justice Department says a second-degree murder charge against a man in the death of his infant son has been withdrawn because a key piece of evidence - the baby's brain - cannot be found.

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Public Prosecutions says Thomas Michel was charged with second-degree murder in Nov. 2013 following the death of his son Matthew Rich.

A news release from the province says the prosecution team had engaged experts in forensic pathology and neuropathology to be called as witnesses in the case.

It says those experts required access to the baby's brain to complete the examinations necessary to provide opinions for the prosecution.

The government says the Chief Medical Examiner's office could not locate the brain of the infant and says the brain is presumed to have been destroyed.

It says without the brain examinations, there was no longer a reasonable likelihood of conviction and the second-degree murder charge was withdrawn.


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