Pa. man charged with murdering 5-month-old son

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Thomas William Imschweiler

Franklin Imschweiler.jpg

By William F. West
Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CURRITUCK – A 31-year-old Pennsylvania man is accused of killing his 5-month-old son after the son was found not breathing on the Currituck County Outer Banks in July, court records show.

Thomas William Imschweiler, of Harrisburg, was indicted by a Currituck grand jury on Sept. 17 on a charge of murdering infant Franklin Imschweiler and a charge of committing felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

According to the indictments, Franklin Imschweiler suffered bleeding on the outside of the brain and bleeding on the right eye. The indictments state the incident occurred sometime between July 14 and July 17. The infant died July 22.

Thomas Imschweiler had already been charged in Currituck District Court as a result of an arrest warrant issued on July 20. Currituck Sheriff's spokeswoman Lindsay Voorhees on Monday said Imschweiler is being held without bond.

According to the sheriff's office, deputies, along with Currituck Fire-EMS, were called on July 17 to the 700 block of Lakeview Court south of Corolla about a report of a child who wasn't breathing. The sheriff's office said that the child was transported to Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters in Virginia.

The sheriff's office said that based on the injuries to the child, along with preliminary examination results, an arrest warrant was issued for Thomas Imschweiler. He was brought back to Currituck, where his bond was set at $700,000, secured.

The sheriff's office said the grand jury added the murder charge early last week after investigators went before the panel. Currituck court officials on Monday said that Imschweiler is due in Currituck Superior Court on Oct. 22.

According to the Press Enterprise newspaper in Pennsylvania, after the child was taken to Virginia for hospitalization, a GoFundMe site was set up to help the family pay medical expenses.

“Keep praying for our little man and join in the fight for Franklin’s recovery,” Thomas Imschweiler reportedly said in a post on July 18. “It’s going to be a long rough road ahead of us but with the grace of God and all of your support he WILL prevail!”

The Press Enterprise reported that a couple of days later, Imschweiler's wife, Laurie Michael, posted online that the baby had stopped breathing, leaving him dependent on a ventilator.

“The concern is his brain stem has stopped completely,” she reportedly wrote as she urged people to pray for her son.

The Press Enterprise reported supporters had donated $5,372 via GoFundMe and also reported friends in the Harrisburg area had held a bake sale and arranged a food truck sale to raise more money before the child died July 22.