The infant's autopsy was one of hundreds for which incomplete records were discovered in the Morgantown office of the state medical examiner in 2006. So far, it is the only one of those cases that has led to an indictment.
The prosecutor knew nothing about the April 1981 case until June 2006, when he received a package from the state Medical Examiner's Office.
"We're a small county, so if I'm waiting for something from the medical examiner, I usually know it," he said.
What he found was the completed autopsy of Ricky Poore. The boy's autopsy, like hundreds of others, was found in the office of Dr. Jack Frost, an assistant state medical examiner, after he retired.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources had the incomplete autopsies finished and referred 59 back to prosecutors around the state to possibly pursue criminal charges.
"It could've just been boxed up and filed away somewhere," he said. "At least someone took the time to look."
The amended death certificate in the Poore case said the child died from a "traumatic head injury." Ricky Poore was shaken to death, the report said.
"Fortunately we were able to find the people involved and the witnesses," Sweeney said.
That included the child's half-brother, Chuck Hinton, who was 5 years old when he witnessed the death. His mother and stepfather broke off their marriage a short time after that and she fled with her children to nearby Ohio.
"I was 5 years old, and I know what I saw," Hinton, now 33, said in a 2006 interview with the Gazette. "I've been dreaming this every night for 25 years."
In that interview, Hinton recalled the April morning in 1981 inside the family's mobile home with a built-on addition on Morgan Avenue in St. Marys.
"I was the only one that watched what happened," he said. "I was the one that went to the next-door neighbor and asked her to call an ambulance. I said, 'Call an ambulance. He just killed my brother.' "
He testified his stepfather shook his brother to death at the trial.
In the 2006 interview, Hinton said his mother, Jeri Williams, called the Morgantown medical examiner regularly for years searching for answers.
"We were nobodies with no money. We just weren't important enough for them to worry about," Hinton said.