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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.

Federal agency wants more information on proposed rail line

(MUNSTER) The federal Surface Transportation Board wants more information about a proposal for a 278-mile rail line from Indiana to Wisconsin aimed at relieving Chicago-area freight congestion.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports (http://bit.ly/2d8dQQt ) the agency wants to know how many trains would run on the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad. It also wants more details on its planned connection to the South Shore Freight Railroad.

In letters dated Sept. 9 and Oct. 11, the board’s Office of Environmental Analysis detailed eight additional topics on which it wants more information than was provided in the railroad’s plans, including the average speed at which trains would travel and the average length of trains. The information is needed for a draft environmental impact statement.


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