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Prosecutors to tap neurosurgeon to probe killing of 3-month-old

The killing of a Niagara Falls newborn one month ago remains a mystery.

In the weeks since A'laya Foster's death, her family has called on authorities to criminally charge two women they say were her babysitters.

One of the caregivers says she's been threatened by the child's family members. In mid-March, a suspicious fire was set at the home of one of the caregivers.

Police and prosecutors have released few details about the case, which they say remains under investigation.

"Any time you have an infant death, they are very complicated investigations," said Niagara County District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek.

Here's what is known: A 911 call was placed at about 1 a.m. Feb. 23, according to police. An ambulance took A'laya to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. The Erie County Medical Examiner's Office determined she died of blunt force trauma, police said.

Earlier this month, the Medical Examiner's Office ruled A'laya's death a homicide.

Niagara Falls Police investigating death of 3-month-old girl as a homicide

Police and the District Attorney's Office have not yet received all of the final reports from the Medical Examiner's Office, Wojtaszek said.

The county's top prosecutor said her office is seeking the help of an expert neurosurgeon "to help us evaluate the case."

Kelly J. Rizzo, chief of detectives for the Niagara Falls Police Department, said police are still collecting and analyzing evidence "and will take action when appropriate."

"We all empathize with the loss to the Foster and Hilson families," Rizzo said in an email, referring to the infant's parents. "Just as importantly, we know that putting together a thorough and comprehensive investigation that ensures a conviction is what will give A'laya justice."

Earlier this month, the home of one of the caregivers was the apparent target in a suspicious fire.

At about 9:45 p.m. March 14, someone started a fire on the porch of a home on North Avenue. No one was home when the fire started, Niagara Falls Fire Prevention Chief Michael Winker said.

The fire caused an estimated $3,000 in damage and the case remains an open investigation, Winker said.

Four people were seen running from the front of the home where the fire started, according to a police report.

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