UPDATE: Father, partner arrested in death of Salem 6-year-old

UPDATE: 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21:

A Salem father and his domestic partner were arrested Saturday in connection with the death of a 6-year-old boy on Friday, Jan. 20, according to the Salem Police Department.

Robby-Joe A. Davenport, 29, and Cierra Wiedner, 25, were lodged in Marion County Jail on a charge of first-degree criminal mistreatment. No bail was set.

They were arrested a day after police and medics responded to their home in the 600 block of Southeast 18th Street. The call to authorities reported an unresponsive child.

The boy was taken to Salem Hospital where he died. An autopsy to determine the cause of death was scheduled for Saturday but Salem police released no information about the results in announcing the arrests.

First-degree criminal mistreatment is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000.

They were charged under the provision of that law defining the crime: “The person, in violation of a legal duty to provide care for another person, or having assumed the permanent or temporary care, custody and responsibility for the supervision of another person, knowingly withholds necessary and adequate food, physical care or medical attention from that other person.”  

Marion County Circuit Court records show that Davenport filed to divorce his wife last November. He listed the couple, who married in 2016, as having two children – a boy and a sibling two years younger. They had been living at a south Salem address until last year, the divorce filing showed. Davenport said his then-wife had “no stable home or income” and he sought sole custody of the children. His wife didn’t respond to the divorce petition and a state judge on Jan. 4 granted Davenport custody of the children. At the time, Davenport listed his former wife’s contact address as “unknown.”


An autopsy was scheduled for Saturday to determine what caused the “suspicious” death of a 6-year-old Salem child, according to the Salem Police Department.

In a statement, the agency said emergency crews responded at 8:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20, to a home on a call “of a child reported to be unresponsive.” Firefighters, police and medics were part of the response, police said.

The child later died at Salem Hospital, the statement said.

The home is in the 600 block of Southeast 18th Street and north of Mission Street.

“At this time the incident is being handled by the Salem Police Special Victims Unit as a suspicious death investigation,” the statement said.

Police released no information on the gender of the child or circumstances at the home when medics arrived.