Crime and Courts
Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
New Jersey

NJ Parents Indicted in Motel Comforter Death of Baby Boy

Prosecutors allege they put their son, Hunter, under a comforter because they were tired of the screams, then went out for a smoke

What to Know

  • The parents of a 4-month-old boy who suffocated after they allegedly put him under a motel comforter have been indicted
  • William Herring and Brianna Brochhausen were indicted on charges of murder and child endangerment by a grand jury last week
  • Prosecutors allege they put their son, Hunter, under a comforter because they were tired of the screams, then went out for a smoke

The parents of a 4-month-old boy who suffocated after they put him under a comforter at a New Jersey motel last year have been indicted on murder charges. 

William Herring and Brianna Brochhausen also face child endangerment counts in the indictment handed up last week by a Burlington County grand jury. It's not known if they've retained attorneys. 

Prosecutors say the couple became frustrated when their baby boy, Hunter, would not stop crying while they were living at the Hilltop Motel in Springfield Township in February 2018. They put him on his stomach on the bed and pulled a comforter over him, covering his whole body and head. 

The couple then went outside to smoke for about 10 minutes. When they returned, he was unresponsive. He died after being taken off life support a few weeks later. An autopsy found he died of "complications of suffocation" and the medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide. 

"The thoughtless actions of these individuals ended up costing a defenseless 4-month-old infant his life," Col. Callahan, the New Jersey State Police Superintendent, said in a statement at the time. "I commend the detectives of our Homicide South Unit and Criminal Investigation Office for their commitment and dedication to finding justice for Baby Hunter."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us