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Death of baby born to Prince's wife under review // Authorities studying circumstances after woman speaks with Minneapolis police

  • Article by: Chris Graves; Chris Ison
  • Star Tribune
  • March 1, 1997 - 10:00 PM

Local authorities are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the death of "Boy Gregory," the child born to Prince's wife, Mayte Garcia-Nelson, last fall.

Authorities declined to characterize their review as an investigation and would not say whether they suspected anyone of wrongdoing.

However, two former employees of the rock star spoke with at least one Minneapolis homicide detective Friday. One of those women is listed on the death certificate as the person who gave authorities information about the baby's death.

Pat Diamond, deputy Hennepin County attorney, said that his office is helping in the review.

"We have been assisting the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County medical examiner concerning a review of the circumstances surrounding this death," he said Saturday.

But, he said, "there is no case presently pending in the Hennepin County attorney's office concerning the death of Boy Gregory."

Efforts to reach Prince and his spokesman were unsuccessful Saturday.

A death certificate filed in Hennepin County on Nov. 4 lists the child's first name as "Boy" and the last name "Gregory." It lists the mother's name as Mia Gregory and left blank the boxes identifying the child's father.

It lists the child's cause of death to be from complications caused by Pfieffer's syndrome, Type 2, a deadly and rare skull deformity resulting from a genetic mutation.

For weeks after the filing of that death certificate, county officials asked Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, where the child was born, for a matching birth certificate. A month later, a birth certificate - listing a male child with no first name and the last name Garcia - was filed with the county. It said a boy was born to Mayte Garcia-Nelson on Oct. 16, weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces. The "mother refused information" pertaining to the father's identity, according to the birth certificate.

Mayte Garcia married Prince Rogers Nelson in February 1996. The author of a Sept. 23 Forbes magazine story about Prince said he was "hugely into the baby," who was due in November.

Both the boy's birth in October and his death a week later at Children's Health Care-Minneapolis captured the attention of Prince fans in the Twin Cities and worldwide, partly because the circumstances of each have been so shrouded in secrecy.

The two former employees, Erlene and Arlene Mojica, have been described as personal assistants close to Mayte. The twin sisters were fired by Paisley Park Enterprises, Prince's company, on Dec. 23, according to their lawyer, Larry Altman.

A woman who gave her name as "Nanny Mojica" is listed as the informant on Boy Gregory's death certificate, which stated that she had power of attorney to act as the informant.

Altman would not be specific about his clients' concerns.

"I'm looking into matters of their firing," he said. "I'm also looking into other employment-related matters," including "medical matters concerning Prince's family."

"My clients have contacted public authorities about certain matters," he said, declining to provide further details.

The women, through Altman, refused to be interviewed for this story.

It remained unclear what path the review into the baby's death would take or what information the Mojica sisters may have offered authorities.

Dr. John J. Fangman, listed as the baby's doctor on the death certificate, called Boy Gregory's manner of death natural. Authorities did not perform an autopsy, and the child's body was cremated the same day he died, according to the death certificate.

Police declined to discuss specifics of the case Saturday. But the city's homicide detectives investigate all deaths considered suspicious by them or by others who may bring a complaint. Some of those deaths later may be ruled accidental or natural.

It is likely that since there is no body to exhume or autopsy results to review, a forensic pathologist at the medical examiner's office will have to obtain and review medical reports relevant to the child's life and death - which could take weeks.

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