Cause of death undetermined for twins

March 10, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Officials with the state Medical Examiner's office were still trying to determine Monday what caused the deaths of 4-month-old twins from Martinsburg.

State Medical Examiner Zia Sabet said no visible injuries could be detected on Hakeem and Nahim Newton, who were found dead last Thursday. The next step will be to conduct toxicologic and microscopic exams on the bodies in an effort to determine the cause of death, Sabet said.

Microscopic testing involves taking a sampling of skin from the two babies and analyzing the samples, Sabet said.

Sabet said the results of the tests probably would not be available until early next week.

Officials said the twins were found dead last Thursday in a crib inside their mother's second-floor apartment at 313 S. Raleigh St.


There were no apparent signs of foul play, but officials plan to investigate the deaths, said Berkeley County Coroner Sandy Brining.

Martinsburg Police said they have classified the case as an "unattended death investigation."

Rescue officials went to the apartment after receiving an emergency call, police said. When officials arrived, the infants' mother, Jewel Johnson, was attempting to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the children, Brining said.

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