A 4-month-old infant was found unresponsive by Westminster PD officers on Dec. 12 after the agency received a call from a man reporting that his girlfriend was acting strangely and their baby was not breathing.
Officers responded at 10:56 p.m. to a residence in the 15000 block of Coronado Street in Westminster. When they arrived, they attempted to revive the boy, but were unable to. The infant was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Westminster resident and mother of the infant, Thi Nhat Ha Nguyen, 29, was arrested on suspicion of homicide based on evidence found at the scene by police.
The couple have no other children and this appears to be an isolated incident, according to the WPD. The Westminster Police Department Crimes Against Persons unit is investigating the incident. Police are not looking for any outstanding suspects.
Traumatic incidents like this hit police agencies hard. Westminster PD offers all its employees emotional support through its Trauma Support Team, which reaches out to those who may have been impacted – from police officers to crime scene investigators to dispatchers – and helps them process the events, according to Sgt. Cord Vandergrift.
These traumatic incidents can affect people in different ways, so it’s important for them to debrief and discuss what they experienced, Vandergrift said.
“If not, it kind of burns into your memory … if you don’t know how to release that, it will stay with you your entire career,” he said.
The Trauma Support Team offers tips on getting through the aftermath of the tragedy in healthy ways, including things like exercising more and avoiding alcohol as a crutch.
“We talk about what may happen from these events afterward,” Vandergrift said. “It’s not uncommon to not be able to sleep.”
Anxiety and depression are other possibilities, he said. He said the team’s goal is to not let these things bottle up.
“The idea is to try and deal with it right as it happens,” he said.