Parents charged with neglect in homicide of NW Indiana infant

(WHEATFIELD, Ind.) Neglect charges have been filed against the parents of a 2-month-old northwest Indiana boy whose death on Friday night was ruled a homicide by child abuse.

After receiving a complaint from the state child welfare investigators about an injured infant on March 2, deputies executed a search warrant at the Wheatfield home of Michael and Dannae Zylstra, according to the Jasper County sheriff’s office. Wheatfield is about 45 miles southwest of Gary.

Investigators found eight items in the home associated with drug use, including cocaine, methamphetamine, a mixture of heroin and fentanyl and drug paraphernalia, sheriff’s police said.

Deputies tracked down the couple the next day in a traffic stop on County Road 400 West near Kankakee Valley High School, police said.

Their son, 2-month old Ayden Zylstra, was pronounced dead at the University of Chicago Medical Center at 9:12 p.m. on Friday, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy found he died of multiple injuries due to child abuse and ruled his dead a homicide.

Michael A. Zylstra, 27; and Dannae V. Zylstra, 18, were each charged with felony counts of neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of methamphetamine and cocaine, police said.

Those charges were filed Thursday, before Ayden’s death. It wasn’t clear if they would face additional charges.

Bond for each was set at $12,000.