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CEDAR CITY —- An infant police say was shaken and critically injured by his father — now a convicted felon — passed away two weeks ago after several months on life support.
The death occurred just one day after another Cedar City child passed away from what police believe is another incidence of child abuse.
The 11-month-old child was just a few months old when his grandmother found him not breathing at his father's Cedar City residence. Police were contacted after she took him to Valley View Medical Center on Dec. 18, with severe internal injuries, which medical experts later concluded was consistent with shaken baby syndrome, according to court documents.
The boy was later flown to Primary Children's Medical Center in critical condition and then placed on life support at South Davis Medical Center in Bountiful, where the child died Sept. 29, according to an obituary published by Southern Utah Mortuary.
Police confirmed the infant was Tayshaun Michael Gorecki. The boy's father, 25-year-old Andy Gorecki, was arrested for investigation of child abuse in December after police say his story about what happened to the child didn't match injuries. Prosecutors later charged him in the 5th District Court with second-degree felony child abuse, which police say would likely be amended to child abuse homicide.
The Cedar City pleaded not guilty on Feb. 2, during the arraignment and a jury trial was set for Dec. 9 and 10. As of Oct. 13, new charges had not been filed.
Gorecki, who pled guilty to third-degree felony forcible sex abuse in 2006, has remained in the Iron County Jail since his arrest in December.
"Personally, I have a hard time relating to people who can do that," Cedar City Police Sgt. J.R. Robinson said. "This doesn't happen often in Cedar City."
But just last Friday police were forced to handle another child abuse-related homicide.
This time a 24-year-old man was arrested in connection with the death of a 14-month-old child.
Police booked Thomas Harry Canum III into the Iron County Jail for investigation of child abuse homicide. Officers were called to Valley View Medical Center around 6:30 p.m., on Sept. 28, after doctors had started treating the toddler for serious head injuries.
The child was later flown by medical helicopter to Primary Children's Medical Center for emergency surgery but the toddler died during the operation. Police said Canum had been watching the child that night but that his statement was inconsistent with the toddler's injuries. Prosecutors later charged him with first-degree felony child abuse homicide and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 3, according to court documents.
In the Tayshaun Gorecki's obituary, family described the child as an "innocent and graceful gift from God, no one can ever replace."
"His presence brought joy and brightness into our lives! We will miss the warmth and peace Tayshaun brought our way. We will forever love and miss you! May you walk with God! Be sweet," it stated.