WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (KDKA) – A West Mifflin couple accused of fleeing from UPMC Children’s hospital with their infant after doctors expressed concerns over bruising on the baby’s body are in a Tennessee jail.
Police arrested the couple this week in Marshall County, Tennessee, more than 600 miles away.
The baby’s father, Daemon Klingensmith, just hired a criminal defense attorney who is trying to get the ball rolling up in Western. Pa.
Parents Daemon Klingensmith and Jeannette Funnen will head to Pittsburgh soon.
They face charges including obstructing a child abuse case and child endangerment.
The good news: baby Ambrose and Funnen’s 3-year-old are safe.
The bad news: they have a long legal process ahead.
“I was retained by Mr. Klingensmith’s family to represent him,” David Shrager, criminal defense attorney, told KDKA’s Meghan Schiller.
“They’re fully supporting him and they’re trying to give him as much love and support as they can.”
Attorney David Shrager will only represent Klingensmith and not his wife Funnen.
Investigators say the parents fled with their infant and Funnen’s toddler after doctors at Children’s Hospital noticed bruises on the baby that they thought were “consistent with abuse.”
Police discovered the family in Tennessee after the FBI received a tip.
“My client has never been in trouble before. He’s never had contact with the criminal system and in addition to having all these issues…”
KDKA talked to Klingensmith’s parents, Eric and Kim, on Wednesday.
Ambrose’s grandparents say it was all a misunderstanding, and the bruising on the child happened because the parents massaged the infant’s stomach to ease its constipation.
They said their son likely ran because he was afraid, and his wife told him they could lose the kids.
Plus, they tell KDKA that Funnen lost custody of her two children after she had an emergency protective custody order filed against her previously.
“We are trying to get him here as quickly as possible because we want to get him in front of a judge to have our side be heard. Right now my understanding is there’s an extradition hearing on Oct. 8 but we’re trying to move that up.”
Shrager said Funnen will get her own separate attorney.
Right now Klingensmith’s parents are in the process trying to foster both children.