SAYLORSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Two parents in the Poconos now face homicide charges more than one year after the death of their baby boy.
Christian Tuliszewski of Saylorsburg is charged with Criminal Homicide, while Samatha DeFrancesca of Saylorsburg is charged with Third Degree Murder. Both charges are felonies.
According to the coroner, their six-month-old died from ‘probable asphyxiation’. Detectives say the baby had injuries on his face and mouth that are consistent with ‘documented deaths of children who were intentionally smothered’.
Police say Tuliszewski and DeFrancesca used heroin the morning of their baby’s death and drug paraphernalia was located throughout the Saylorsburg home, where the child was found unresponsive.
In days prior to baby’s death, investigators say his living environment became ‘increasingly dangerous due to drug abuse and documented threats of violence against the child’.
According to text messages between the couple, Tuliszewski became threatening towards his children. He allegedly threatened to suffocate and starve them if he did not receive drugs that DeFrancesca hid from him. Police say Tuliszewski was alone with the child during the fatal injury.
Police also say DeFrancesca didn’t take steps to protect her baby from harm.
Both are locked up in Monroe County.
After their baby’s death last May, they were charged with child endangerment and drug-related charges.