Rochester man charged with child neglect in death of young child

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man is accused of neglect of a child resulting in substantial harm after the death of a child under 4.

Darius Dwayne Pitchford, 34, will appear in Olmsted County Court in January following the death of his child on Feb. 14.

According to court documents, Pitchford allegedly returned home the night of Feb. 13 to find that the child had vomited.

Pitchford allegedly took the child to the hospital, but signed the child out without treatment after waiting a few hours and took him home.

The child was found dead in the home on the 14th by Pitchford and the child’s mother, according to court documents.

Pitchford told police, according to court documents, that the child had been ill since the morning of the 13th, and that staff told him the child’s white blood cell count was high.

Hospital surveillance showed that initial bloodwork was completed at the hospital, and further lab and x-rays were ordered, but not completed before Pitchford left the hospital with the child around 2 a.m.

A hospital worker told police Pitchford refused to believe that the child was dehydrated, or that he was showing signs of kidney failure, and said hospital staff were lying to him when they warned him the child could die.

According to court documents, the discharge notes given to Pitchford stated “return to the ER as soon as possible. Your child may die.”

An autopsy showed that the child died from complications from a paraduodebal hernia, which would have been detected on an x-ray and required surgery to correct.

Pitchford is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 4, 2023.