Relates to:
Date: 2003-10-01

Author: MATT GRYTA - News Staff Reporter

Jessica Vitale-Elgie admitted days after the death of her adopted son that she should have either called 911 or the family's physicians after the boy became violently ill after ingesting laundry detergent, an Amherst police investigator testified Tuesday.

Capt. Joseph B. Scioli said the defendant made that statement while she and her husband were told by police that they were investigating possible criminal negligence in the death of her adopted 5-year-old son, Casey.

Testimony in the nonjury negligent homicide trial resumed Tuesday before State Supreme Court Justice Joseph S. Forma.

Currently on a paid leave from her Buffalo special-education teacher's job, Vitale-Elgie, 39, was indicted on a criminally negligent homicide charge 18 months after Casey died, on Aug. 31, 2000. The boy's death occurred more than 10 hours after he ingested laundry detergent at their Amherst home.

In other testimony Tuesday, Dr. Alexander Rotta, a Women's and Children's Hospital critical-care pediatrician who tried to save Casey's life after he went into cardiac arrest, said the boy was probably visibly ill for as many as six hours before suffering cardiac arrest.

Also Tuesday, the trial judge learned that several days after Casey's death, Vitale-Elgie told a Erie County government child protective services investigator Casey had continued to play for hours after she got him to vomit the liquid detergent by making him drink water.



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