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Infant dies; family had missed DCF visit

A 16-day-old Fitchburg infant died Saturday, the day after her family missed a scheduled home visit from the Department of Children and Families, authorities said Sunday.

Bailey Irish was unresponsive when her parents, Charis Hubbard and Travis Irish, brought her to HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster on Saturday morning, according to Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early.

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Doctors pronounced the baby dead just before 8 a.m. The medical examiner had yet to rule on the cause of the death, Jarvey said Sunday.

The Department of Children and Families has worked with Bailey’s family since October 2012, said Cayenne Isaksen, an agency spokeswoman.

“DCF last visited all members of the family March 26,” Isaksen said. “Another home visit was attempted last Friday, but the family wasn’t home at the time, so the visit was rescheduled for April 28.”

Isaksen said the department was investigating the child’s death. State Police and the Fitchburg Police Department are investigating as well.

Hubbard and Irish could not be reached for comment Sunday. But Travis Irish, Bailey’s father, used social media to thank family and friends for their support Sunday and directed people to a fund-raising webpage made via youcaring.com.

“Bailey was taken too soon from us,” the fund-raising page says. “This family is going through enough with the loss of their sweet angel.”

The fund-raising page, which includes pictures of a swaddled newborn wearing a pink crocheted hat, said the family’s pain is too “unbearable to even think about.”

As of early Sunday night, about $600 had been donated toward the $1, 000 goal.

Bailey’s death follows the death of a month-old girl in Grafton on April 11. The Worcester district attorney’s office is investigating that case.

On April 3, a Grafton police officer contacted DCF with concerns about the safety of that baby, but the fax was misplaced for six days. The fax was discovered two days before the Grafton child died.

Globe correspondent Derek J. Anderson contributed to this report. Zachary T. Sampson can be reached at zachary.
sampson@globe.com
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