Child died of blunt force trauma

By DeeAnna Haney | Nov 16, 2012
Jake Russell was 4 at the time of his death.

A recent search warrant reveals more details in the case regarding the suspicious death of 4-year-old Jake Russell in August.

The child’s father, Michael Swayngim, currently faces charges for second-degree murder and felony child abuse.

On Aug. 16, Swayngim called 9-1-1 around 8 p.m. and said his son had stopped breathing. When authorities arrived, they found Russell was limp and unconscious, but still had a pulse. He was airlifted to Mission Hospital and died shortly thereafter.

According to an affidavit written by Det. James Marsh with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, EMS officials on the scene “became immediately suspicious that Jake had been abused,” after finding “severe and numerous” bruises all over his body.

An autopsy conducted in Winston-Salem revealed the child died of blunt force trauma to the head, which caused severe swelling, according to court documents.

For full story, pick up a copy of the Friday, Nov. 16 issue of The Mountaineer or click here.