Responders train to investigate children's deaths

By Stephen Hooker - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - When a child dies unexpectedly, parents want answers. The search for those answers led to a training session for first responders in Columbia on Tuesday.

"[A child's death] is probably one of the most traumatic experiences that you'll have to deal with," said Sgt. George Draft.

These cases also affect the lives of these first responders who attended a course to sharpen their evidence gathering skills as well as their understanding.

The course has been a big need for some time, according to Laura Hudson, who is involved in reviewing those "undetermined cause of death" rulings.

"[I want] honed skills," said Hudson. "More ability to view the death that they're looking at in a child and say what happened."

Laura says about 240 children's deaths a year can't be given a cause because of incomplete information from investigators. She hopes the course goes a long way to fixing that.

To drive home the point, David smith came in with his advice as a parent. He's the ex-husband of Susan smith, who murdered their two children back in 1994. "I guess I want law enforcement not to shy away, not feel intimidated by a parent," said David Smith.

"My hope today is that I can help build a rapport between law enforcement and, sadly as it is, future parents that are going to go through some sort of tragedy," Smith continued.

David smith was also asked Tuesday about Oprah Winfrey wanting to interview his ex-wife. Smith says he understands why the talk show host would want to interview Susan smith, but he doesn't think she should get any more time in the spotlight.

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