MIDDLETOWN – A Middletown man has been charged with murdering his infant son, who died three weeks ago of what police described as complications from a brain injury
Police charged Michael Heil, 26, of 49½ Monhagen Ave., with second-degree murder in the death of his 7-week-old son, Zachary Heil, who died Aug. 22 at Westchester Medical Center.
On Aug. 7, police and emergency medical personnel had been dispatched to the Heils’ home, responding to a call of an “unresponsive person.”
A felony complaint that developed out of an investigation by the Middletown Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said “conduct by the defendant did subsequently cause the death of the victim.” The complaint said the actions that led to Zachary Heil’s death occurred at the Monhagen Avenue address. Police declined to provide specific information as to how investigators believe the infant died.
The house at 49½ Monhagen Ave. is one side of a three-story, wood-frame duplex, perched on a hill overlooking Monhagen Avenue. On Wednesday, a worn car seat and baby stroller were sitting on the front porch. No one answered the door.
The Heils’ next-door neighbor in the duplex, Cazmere Lowe, said although he spoke to Michael Heil from time to time, he had no idea that there was an infant living in the house. Lowe said he often saw two toddler-age girls coming and going, but he never heard any noise that would be associated with an infant.
Lowe, who has the phrase, "Family First" tattoed on his right forearm, said police came to the house several times. He said he was shocked when he found out that a baby from the unit next door was in the hospital. “We had hoped that he would pull through,” Lowe said. “I was so angry when I heard that he had died.”
The felony complaint said the second-degree murder charge was based on a number of elements, including medical findings of hospital staff and the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Michael Heil was being held without bail Wednesday at Orange County Jail. He’s due in Middletown City Court Monday.