Coroner: Dayton 2-month-old suffered skull, rib fractures

Details of death emerge day after governor orders review of local cases.

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office has ruled the death of a 2-month-old Dayton boy a homicide caused by blunt force injuries — a ruling announced less than a day after Ohio’s governor ordered a review of how Montgomery County Children Services handles abuse and neglect cases.

Gabriel Clouse was rushed Feb. 2 from a house on Wyoming Street to Dayton Children’s Hospital, according to a Dayton police report.

He died on Feb. 5 at the hospital, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

“Upon arrival, they encountered a 2-month-old male in distress. That male was transported by medic to Children’s Hospital for treatment. Due to circumstances surrounding the child’s injury and eventual death, the special victims unit has been actively investigating this incident,” Dayton Police Lt. Jason Hall said Thursday.

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“The investigation is ongoing, and we have not received a completed autopsy corner report,” he said.

Preliminary autopsy notes and photos viewed Thursday by the Dayton Daily News show Gabriel died with multiple injuries, including skull and rib fractures.

No one has been charged in relation to his injuries or death.

Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger released information about Gabriel the day after Gov. Mike DeWine’s office announced he directed the state to review Montgomery County Children Services’ handling of abuse and neglect cases locally.

Montgomery County Children Services spokesman Kevin Lavoie said the agency opened an investigation involving Gabriel when the child was taken to the hospital. He would not say whether the agency had a prior case involving the family, citing privacy laws.

A 911 call obtained by the Dayton Daily News placed Feb. 2 at the Wyoming Street address has a panicked man ask dispatchers for help.

“He got some milk in his lungs or something. I don’t know, he’s not breathing,” the man says.

Dispatch logs indicate the caller was William Clouse and listed him as the child’s father. A message left for William Clouse by the Dayton Daily News was not returned Thursday.

The dispatcher talks the man through CPR, and the baby begins making noises, according to the call, and the man says milk begins coming out the baby’s nose.

Gabriel is one of multiple children in Montgomery County who have died over the last three months. The Dayton Daily News has extensively reported on the death of Takoda Collins, a 10-year-old boy who died after being rushed to the hospital from his Kensington Drive home.

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DeWine’s office said Wednesday Takoda’s death came 19 months after Children Services closed an alternative response case involving him. Teachers say they contacted Children Services about 15 times before Takoda died.

In January, a 4-month-old Dayton baby girl was mauled by a dog. That case also is under investigation. Authorities say the girl’s mother was sleeping on the couch when the incident took place. Subscription medication could have played a role in the incident, according to the search warrant.

On Feb. 6, a 4-month-old Harrison Twp. child was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead. Deputies are also investigating the case, and a cause of death has not been released.

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