Wilson baby died by strangulation, autopsy says

Rylan James Buchanan (left) in his obituary photo from Joyner Funeral Home. Brian Christopher Buchanan in a photo from Wilson police.

WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) — A 4-month-old boy whose father is accused of murdering him died by ligature strangulation, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.

A ligature is a cord or similar object.

EARLIER: Family mourns after Wilson dad charged with murder of infant son

Rylan James Buchanan was found unresponsive on Feb. 6 and taken to a hospital, where he died Feb. 8, according to authorities. His father, Brian Christopher Buchanan, is charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse with serious physical injury.

The baby’s death came weeks after his father was fired from his job with Greenville Fire/Rescue after being caught in a compromising position.

“On January 11, 2017, you were found by your supervisor in a private vehicle on City property behind Station 5 in the company of another person with the individuals’ pants and undergarments removed while you were on duty,” Fire/Rescue Chief Eric Griffin wrote in a memo describing the city’s decision to fire Buchanan.

EARLIER: NC man accused of son’s death lost firefighter job for bad conduct, docs say

The memo said being caught in the act behind the fire station was the second “very serious incident of ‘Detrimental Personal Conduct,’ Buchanan had been involved in since June 2016, Griffin wrote.

In April 2016 and June 6, he took more medication than he reported, leading to “two major discrepancies involving Diphenhydramine,” the memo states. Diphenhydramine is the substance found in Benadryl.

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