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Baby dies 20 days after emergency delivery by mother fatally wounded in Somerset

| Friday, June 20, 2014, 1:05 p.m.

A baby girl who was delivered after her mother was shot in Somerset County died early Friday in a Pittsburgh hospital, authorities said.

Abrianna Lyric Kovalcik was pronounced dead in UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh at 1:13 a.m. Friday, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. She was 20 days old.

The Cambria County Coroner's Office performed an autopsy in Johnstown. State police said in a news release that the official cause and manner of Abrianna's death will be released after laboratory testing that could take several weeks.

The baby's mother, Caressa Kovalcik, 23, was nine months pregnant when she was shot on the evening of May 31, allegedly by her boyfriend, Denver Roy Alan Blough, 25, at their Windber apartment, police said.

Emergency responders resuscitated Kovalcik for nearly three hours while her baby was delivered through an emergency cesarean section in Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, said Jeffrey Lees, chief deputy coroner for Cambria County.

The baby was flown by medical helicopter to Children's Hospital. Kovalcik was taken to an operating room and died at 9:45 p.m., Lees said.

An autopsy confirmed Kovalcik died from a gunshot to the head, and Lee ruled the death a homicide.

Blough told police that he and Kovalcik were arguing and he broke down his 20-gauge shotgun into two pieces, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

“Blough related he took the barrel assembly out to a kitchen area to show Kovalcik, where it discharged into her face, causing massive trauma,” Trooper Ted Goins wrote in the affidavit.

The couple's 11-month-old son was home at the time, police said.

A donation fund for Kovalcik's surviving child has been established at Marion Center Bank. According to her obituary, donations can be sent to The Children of Caressa M. Kovalcik, Marion Center Bank, P.O. Box 130, Indiana, PA 15701.

Blough is being held in the Somerset County Jail without bail on charges of homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 31.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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