A 12-week-old infant, who had been in foster care since birth, died Tuesday afternoon at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Metro police are investigating the death as a homicide.
Police said Cherokeewolf William Diedrich was born Nov. 9 to Kimberlee Diedrich, 35, who is homeless. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services assumed custody of the child and placed him in foster care shortly after birth, police said.
He was hospitalized Jan. 9 with a severe head injury after one of the foster parents called 911 to report that the baby was not breathing. He was taken by ambulance from 4637 Cather Court, the home of foster parents Earl and Cheryl Green.
Cherokeewolf was placed on life support soon after his arrival. He was pronounced dead at 1:49 p.m. Tuesday after a court order was issued instructing life support to be removed.
An autopsy will likely be conducted Wednesday.
Police said no charges have been filed in the case, but the District Attorney’s Office has been briefed on the continuing investigation.
Rob Johnson, a DCS spokesman, said in a statement released Tuesday that the foster parents passed muster at the agency.
"The child was placed in the home of Nashvillians Cheryl and Earl Green," he said. "They had successfully completed mandated training to become foster parents. They had been interviewed extensively and had opened their house up for a detailed home study, as required by the state. They also passed criminal background checks."
Johnson also said DCS workers continued to check up on Cherokeewolf after he was placed with the Greens, even arranging visits with his birth mother.
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