HIGHLAND PARK (CBSDFW.COM) – Police are investigating the suspicious death of a 4-month-old baby and the subsequent death of another family member.
Highland Park police say Louis Rothermel brought his son, Harrison, to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas on Sunday. The condition of the baby, who also suffered from Down Syndrome, isn’t known, but he was alive. The medical staff began immediate treatment but was unable to save little Harrison who died that same day.
At some point, the hospital staff contacted authorities because they had some concerns.
“On Sunday we were contacted by Children’s Hospital. They had an infant that was brought in, 4-months-old, and there were some signs and symptoms there that they believe were consistent with abuse,” Highland Park police Sgt. Lance Koppa explained.
On Sunday, police interviewed both Louis Rothermel and his wife, Honea, who was returning from an out of town trip when her son was taken to the hospital.
Then Wednesday the Highland Park Department of Public Safety was contacted again, this time to report that Louis Rothermel was missing.
HP police put out a missing persons report and shortly after received a call.
“The Dallas Police Department, yesterday, contacted us, they had made contact with the individual, had found him deceased in a hotel room,” Koppa said.
Rothermel’s body was found at a Courtyard by Marriott in the 10000 block of North Central Expressway. In a DPD report, police said it appeared Rothermel died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Rothermel was a high profile developer who was recently profiled in an SMU magazine. The university was his alma mater.
Highland Park police are still investigating the death of little Harrison Rothermel and admit the death of his father complicates things.
“This certainly changed the dynamics of the investigation because we have an interview that took place on Sunday, with both parents. And our investigators were looking to do follow-up interviews with those individuals,” Sgt. Koppa said. “Now of course the father is deceased and so we don’t have that avenue for information.”
Police say there is no indication of child abuse in the couple’s past, but did confirm that Harrison was taken to the hospital a few months ago, for unknown reasons.
Police say Honea Rothermel, who was profiled in a 2009 CBS 11 News Get Healthy Texas segment, is speaking with them and cooperating fully.
The couple’s other child, a 4-year-old son, was initially taken into the custody of Child Protective Services but a judge later ruled the boy could go home with his mother under the condition that she continue to cooperate with CPS.
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