Pennsylvania couple accused of treating dying newborn with only herbs

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After allegedly choosing to treat a sick newborn with only teas and herbs, a Pennsylvania couple have been charged with manslaughter.

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According to a statement from the Pennsylvania attorney general, Drew and Amy Hoenigke were also charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

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They reportedly waited three days to notify authorities of the death.

A family friend, Brigitte Meckes, was also there, and she was charged with the same offences.

The baby, who was born at home, lived only three days.

Authorities say the couple used teas and herbs — rather than modern medicine — in an attempt to care for their newborn baby, according to PEOPLE.

« Shortly after birth, the baby showed signs of serious distress, » the attorney general wrote in a statement. « The messages from the defendants described the baby as having difficulty breathing and ‘turning blue' ».

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The couple would then have tried to administer holistic remedies to the child.

« In an unsuccessful attempt to help the child, Amy Hoenigke and Meckes used a peppermint oil infuser and attempted to create a makeshift breathing tube from a bottle of water, » the prosecutor writes. general. “Without proper medical care, the baby died about two days after birth.

« Experts believe the guardians should have sought immediate medical attention when the child began to show signs of distress and difficulty breathing, » the attorney general continued. « The defendants’ inaction resulted in unnecessary suffering and made it impossible for the baby to survive. »


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Pennsylvania State Troopers found the boy’s decomposing body on January 20. Next to his remains, they found a container with « burnt grass remnants ».

Drew Hoenigke, 31, said The daily beast that the couple have decided not to call the police immediately because they don’t trust modern medicine – and are worried about their unvaccinated two-year-old daughter.

The couple, along with Meckes, were each booked on $150,000 bail. They have since been released pending a court appearance in January.

They have yet to enter a plea, and court records do not mention which lawyers were authorized to speak on their behalf.

PEOPLE contacted the Hoenigke family by phone but could not immediately reach them.


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