Prosecutors: 9-month old baby died suspiciously on Christmas Day

By Lori Brown - bio | email

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - Detectives are investigating if someone murdered a 9-month old baby on Christmas Day.

It would have been nine-month old Gage Leifer's first Christmas, but he never made it through the day, after what happened inside his grandparents' home, where he was staying with his father Shawn, and his grandparents Myles Leifer, a former candidate for Oakland mayor, and his wife Angela.

Someone at the house called the Oakland Police Department Christmas morning about the baby. Paramedics tried to revive the child as he was taken by helicopter to Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, but it was too late.

Gage's mother Jamie Leifer did not want to talk on camera. But another family member, says two days before the baby's death, Jamie Leifer, who did not have custody of her children, had a bad feeling something was going to happen to her baby.

"For some reason she knew something was going to happen," Patricia Puckett, Jamie Leifer's aunt said. "A gut feeling, mother's intuition, but she tried on the 23rd to have her children removed from there and she knew something was going to happen."

A reporter went to the Leifer's home, but no one came to the door. A WMC-TV reporter was later told the family didn't want to talk. Minutes later the Oakland Police Department arrived at the house at the request of the Leifers to ask the reporter and photographer to leave their property, which they were not on.

Leifer's family attorney says the grandparents have been eliminated as suspects. He did not say that Shawn Leifer was cleared.

"Everybody maintains their innocence. Shawn has maintained his innocence and again all we have right now is the suspicious death of a child. A horrible, horrible tragedy.

Jamie and Shawn Leifer's children are now in the custody of Shawn Leifer's parents, Myles and Angela.

Investigators said they could not give any more details about the case while it is under investigation.

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