Long Beach social worker, mother charged with her baby’s death has license revoked

Long Beach social worker, mother charged with her baby’s death has license revoked


Attorney General’s Office finds defendant a danger to clients



Posted: 09/30/2011 02:09:17 PM PDT


Updated: 09/30/2011 07:07:34 PM PDT

Melissa Swanson, above, and husband Michael Cross are accused of felony cruelty in their 31-day-old baby’s death. (Brittany Murray / Staff Photographer)

LONG BEACH — Authorities on Friday officially revoked the license of a social worker and 34-year-old Long Beach mother who stands accused of felony child abuse in the beating death of her 31-day-old baby.

Melissa Swanson, 34, and her husband, Michael Cross, 42, are each charged with felony cruelty to a child causing death in the slaying of their daughter, Michaela Cross.

The couple were arrested Aug. 12, a day after Long Beach police and paramedics responded to a 911 call to their home in the 600 block of Magnolia Avenue to find the newborn already dead.

Photos of the baby show her bottom and face covered in bruises and blistering on her lips.

The couple allegedly told investigators they were force feeding the 31-day-old baby,

Michael Cross and wife Melissa Swanson is accused of felony cruelty in the death of his 31-day-old baby. (Brittany Murray / Staff Photographer)

but the Coroner’s investigator said the blisters were not consistent with force feeding.

The preliminary coroner’s report listed the baby’s cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and noted the fatal injury was likely inflicted a week prior to her death.

A bail review hearing was scheduled for the couple Friday but was postponed.

However a representative from the Attorney General’s Office was in court to officially revoke Swanson’s license as a registered social worker.

A defense attorney told the court previously that Swanson was not working at the time of the incident, but the prosecution pointed out that was because Swanson was still on maternity leave from the birth of her baby.

Swanson was trained specifically to work with children and was deemed a potential danger to clients by the Attorney General’s Office, which oversees licensing of social workers, authorities said.

She and her husband are scheduled to return to the Long Beach Superior Court Wednesday for a bail reduction hearing.

Swanson and Cross are each being held in lieu of $1 million bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Information Center.

tracy.manzer@presstelegram.com, 562-499-1261.


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