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By RICK BOSTON
Staff Writer 

Freedom Township Couple Charged in Death of Infant

 

August 22, 2019



A Freedom Township couple is facing charges in connection with the death of their 1-month old son in June.

Elizabeth Ann McIntyre, 29, and Robert Lee Zeth, 37, were arrested on Monday, Aug. 16, after an investigation by Hollidaysburg State Police into the death of their infant son.

According to the charges, the couple showed up at Conemaugh Nason Medical Center, Roaring Spring, at approximately 10 a.m. on June 8 with an unresponsive child.

Efforts by hospital personnel to revive the infant were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead about 25 minutes after arriving.

McIntyre and Zeth allegedly provided hospital officials with an address in Queen, Bedford County, but police learned they were actually living in a camper along Tuscarora Drive, Freedom Township, with the infant and their 3-year-old son.

When questioned by police, the couple allegedly said they were using the camper as a “weekend getaway.” Police later learned the couple had been living there for approximately six weeks.

According to police, McIntyre said she put the baby to sleep in a vibrating baby chair at around 11 p.m. on June 7 and that the baby woke up crying at around 8:30 a.m. the next morning.

She told police she changed the baby’s diaper and gave him a bottle before putting him in bed between her and Zeth, who is the baby’s father.

Approximately an hour later, McIntyre woke up and noticed blood coming out of the baby’s nose.

When police interviewed McIntyre a second time on July 29, she allegedly gave a different account of what happened.

During this interview, McIntyre allegedly told police that she and Zeth had been hanging out in a neighbor’s garage and was unsure of what time they got home.

She told police she remembered putting the baby in a bouncer chair at the bottom corner of their bed before going to bed.

She allegedly told police this time that the baby woke up crying at around 2 or 3 a.m. and that Zeth gave him a bottle and placed him in bed between the couple without her knowledge.

The couple’s 3-year-old son slept in front of her against a wall.

McIntyre told police that when she woke up, the 3-year-old was crawling around near the wall and her back was to the baby. She then looked over her shoulder and noticed blood coming from the baby’s nose.

She told police she screamed at Zeth, who had his arm around the baby’s hip. She told police she picked the baby up and ran to her neighbor, who was outside.

McIntyre allegedly handed the baby to the neighbor before transporting him to the hospital.

McIntyre allegedly yelled out, “I think I rolled on him. I didn’t know he was with us.”

Once at the hospital, Zeth allegedly texted the neighbor and asked her to “clean up” the camper and to take three boxes that were above a refrigerator out of the camper because the police and Blair County Children, Youth & Families were on the way there.

The neighbor told police she made the bed and straightened out the blankets and pillows. She also cleaned up clutter in the camper.

The neighbor also told police she took the boxes from the camper and handed them to her husband, but did not look inside them.

Both Zeth and McIntyre refused to turn over their cellphones to police, who then obtained a search warrant for them.

The neighbor’s phone was confiscated and police said it showed texts from Zeth instructing her to clean up the camper and remove the boxes.

Police also searched the camper, which was parked on a property known as a junk yard.

Police said there were numerous vehicles, toys, tools, furniture, scrap metal, car parts and other items scattered throughout the property.

The inside of the trailer contained so many items that the bunkbeds could not be used and there was no functioning shower.

Both McIntyre and Zeth face felony and misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child, conspiracy, criminal use of a communication facility, tampering with evidence and recklessly endangering another person.

They were arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Andrew Blattenberger, Martinsburg.

Zeth was lodged in the Blair County Prison on 10 percent of $50,000 bail while McIntyre was jailed on 10 percent of $20,000.

A preliminary hearing for both is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 29, in front of Blattenberger.

 

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