Edmond Family Hopes Medical Opinion Will Bring 'Justice For Jake'

Monday, January 16th 2012, 7:31 pm
By: News 9

The murder of an eight month old remains a mystery. The baby died from a massive brain injury almost a year ago, but police have not made any arrests in the case. The family said a medical opinion is putting them closer to finding "Justice for Jake."

Jake Hedger died in March 2011. An autopsy report shows the baby stopped breathing while at a babysitter's house then died the next day from a head injury.

10/11/2011 Related Story: Edmond Mother Speaks About 9-Month-Old Son's Death

The Medical Examiner did not determine the time of Jake's injury, but Jake's family says several doctors are providing their expert opinions.

Jake's aunt, Tammy Padgett, says they have been waiting ten months for an arrest in the murder of their eight month old,

"When there hasn't been any clear work in the case or progress in the case, it's just been more pain added to his family," Padgett said.

Padgett says they've personally paid for an independent pathologist, polygraph and received opinions from child abuse experts,

"The medical experts have all said that this injury happened in the care of the babysitter and I don't know what more is needed for an arrest," Padgett said.

The babysitter denies hurting Jake. Jake's family believes Edmond Police have slowed the investigation to protect the babysitter's husband, who also works in law enforcement.

Now, the case is going before a grand jury. Padgett responded to the move in the case,

"It's just a little ray of hope that he's not forgotten, that his murder is not forgotten and that the case is moving forward," Padgett said.

Since the announcement of the grand jury investigation, a confidential report requested by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, an oversight agency for the Department of Human Services, was leaked to the public. The report details the medical opinions of Dr. Robert Block, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Padgett says the report is just one more medical expert helping prove their case,

"We are thrilled that the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics has said that it is obvious the injury happened while Jake was in the care of the babysitter," Padgett said.

Dr. Robert Block would not talk with us about how he determined the injury occurred in the babysitter's care, because the opinion is confidential.

"This opinion is unreliable and based only on the information provided by the Hedgers," the babysitter's attorney, Gary James said.

He has knowledge Dr. Block began consulting with the Hedger's attorney before the OCCY asked Dr. Block to formulate a medical opinion.

10/12/2011 Related Story: Documents Reveal More In Edmond Infant's Death