PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Police have charged a 58-year-old Virginia man with murder in connection to his infant son’s death that occurred in November 1984. The man, Samuel Harry Dicola, of Manassas, was 20 years old at the time of his 3-month-old infant’s death.
According to police, on Nov. 29, 1984, Dicola was at home with his son when the infant allegedly began experiencing breathing problems. The 3-month-old was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to the Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C., where the infant died a few days later.
The next month, autopsy results showed the baby had died from severe retinal hemorrhaging and swollen brain which police say was deemed to have been caused by Dicola shaking his son.
“At the time of the initial police investigation, the medical examiner classified the death as undetermined, and based on the medical findings, prosecution was not sought by the then-Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County,” Prince William County Police wrote in a statement.
More than 30 years later Dicola was stopped by police in Maryland in September 2021 on an unrelated matter. During the incident, police learned of additional information which prompted them to reexamine the case, which then led the medical examiner’s office in Washington D.C. to reclassify the infant’s cause of death as a homicide.
Dicola was officially charged with the murder of his infant son on Feb. 15, 2023.
Dicola is currently incarcerated on an unrelated matter at Rappahannock Regional Jail where police say he will remain until he is taken to Prince William County. His court date is April 11.