Port Jervis dad accused of killing baby appears in court

Brett Kanoff, left, is accused of killing his

Brett Kanoff, left, is accused of killing his 13-month-old baby, Carmeon Kanoff, right. Photo Credit: Port Jervis PD; Handout

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A young Port Jervis father accused of suffocating his 13-month-old son with a blanket appeared at a court hearing Wednesday.

Police arrested 22-year-old Brett M. Kanoff on Tuesday and charged him with second-degree murder, a day after Cameron Louis Kanoff was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Port Jervis.

Brett Kanoff, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, was represented at the brief hearing in Port Jervis City Court by Donalda Gillies, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Judge Victoria Campbell presided at the hearing. Afterward, Kanoff was remanded without bail to the Orange County Jail, Court Clerk Catherine Quinn said.

Kanoff's arrest comes just days after a Mamaroneck mother, Manuela Maria Morgado, was charged with killing her 4-year-old son in an unrelated incident. She was found in a "semiconscious state" after leaving what law enforcement sources called a suicide note.

Cameron Kanoff, the son of Brett and Samantha Finch Kanoff, died Sept. 24. Paramedics and police responded to the family's Ball Street home at 11:40 a.m., after receiving an emergency call about a child who was not breathing, police said. The boy was rushed to Bon Secours Community Hospital in Port Jervis, where he was pronounced dead.

The circumstances were suspicious to Port Jervis detectives, who worked with the Orange County Child Abuse Task Force and Department of Social Services as well as the county medical examiner and prosecutors.

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After a weeklong investigation, police said they believe Brett Kanoff suffocated his son with a blanket.

On Wednesday, Det. Sgt. Michael Myers declined to elaborate on what aroused investigators' suspicions, saying that evidence would be presented to a grand jury within a few days.

The dead child's twin brother, Caleb Burton Kanoff, died at birth, police said.

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Calls to the Kanoffs' home Wednesday went unanswered. Efforts to reach Gillies were not immediately successful.

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