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Family, Friends Hold Vigil, Balloon Release In 2-Month-Old’s Memory

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A candlelight vigil and a balloon release were held Friday night in a park in Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, in memory of 8-week-old Sophia Ludwiczak.

Police said she was the victim of “shaken baby syndrome.”

The baby’s father, 30-year old Matthew Milisits, is in jail. He is facing charges of homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigators said Milisits admitted to allegedly shaking the 2-month-old to try to get her to stop crying while the two were home alone at his home in Vandergrift last month.

The infant was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital where she died four days after being taken off life support.

The blue and purple balloons released on Friday symbolize child abuse and shaken baby syndrome.

Sophia’s mother, Samantha Ludwiczak, spoke at the vigil, telling KDKA-TV that Sophia “was the best baby ever.”

Ludwiczak said, “We want to thank everyone for their support and prayers, and we want justice for Sophia.”

The mother said she misses her baby every day.

Milisits is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail. He faces a hearing Jan. 23.

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