published Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Infant girl dies after fall from Georgia hotel balcony

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A 9-month-old girl died after falling from a fifth-floor balcony at a riverfront hotel in Savannah, where the child's family was vacationing over the Memorial Day weekend.

The parents told police their baby girl squirmed out of her mother's arms and plunged from an atrium balcony to the lobby floor inside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Savannah's downtown historic district. Police said the child, identified as Sahana Shah, was rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries. She died Sunday, two days after she fell.

Savannah-Chatham County police spokesman Julian Miller said Tuesday afternoon that no criminal charges had been filed, but detectives were still investigating.

The baby's parents, Saumil and Priti Shah of Ashburn, Virginia, were visiting Savannah for the holiday weekend, Miller said. He said he could not release further details.

Saumil Shah told police his family was inside their fifth-floor room Friday night and his wife was holding the baby beside the room's balcony that overlooks the hotel lobby.

"The baby started to kick and jerk and then Priti lost hold" of the child, according to a police report. It said the baby struck a flower pot outside a third-floor room before landing on the lobby floor.

The parents did not immediately return a message Tuesday left at a phone number they gave police.

The police report said officers were unable to find witnesses who saw the child fall. Surveillance cameras did not film the fall from the balcony, according to the report, only the child landing on the floor.

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