PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — Police said detectives arrested a man on Wednesday in connection to the death of his baby nearly four decades ago.
The charge against him is Murder.
The Prince William County Police Department said Samuel Harry Dicola’s 3-month-old son was in his care on Nov. 29, 1984 at the family’s home in the 9600 block of Lafayette Ave. in the Manassas area when the baby supposedly started having breathing problems. Detectives said Dicola, who was 20 years old at the time, took his son to the hospital for evaluation. From there, the son was transferred to Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. where the baby died a few days later.
In December 1984, the medical examiner’s office determined the boy died from severe retinal hemorrhaging and swollen brain caused by shaking of the baby. At the time of the initial police investigation, the medical examiner classified the death as undetermined. Based on the medical findings, the person serving as Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County at the time did not seek to prosecute Dicola.
In September 2021, police in Maryland stopped Dicola on an unrelated matter. They obtained additional information that prompted a reexamination of the case from 1984.
After the recent review of the investigation consistent with current medical expertise, the medical examiner’s office in Washington, D.C. reclassified the cause of death as a homicide. As a result, Dicola, 58, was charged.
As of Thursday, Dicola was being held on an unrelated matter at the Rappahannock Regional Jail in Virginia where he will remain until transported to Prince William County.