Grandmother of 5-year-old who died after allegedly falling downstairs issues statement via attorney

YORK COUNTY, Pa.– The grandmother of 5-year-old Preston Hasselberger, who died after allegedly falling down a flight of stairs at his York Township home earlier this week, released a statement Friday via her law firm.

Stacy Cianciulli, who is the maternal grandmother of Hasselberger, released the following statement via her attorneys at Cuomo Law Firm in Baltimore:

This firm was retained to represent Ms. Stacy Cianciulli in connection with a contested custody matter filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County and styled as Stacy Cianciulli v. Jeridan Harris, et al., Case No.: 03-C-17-000011. The litigation remained pending at the time of Preston’s death. In response to numerous press inquiries, I have been asked and authorized to release the following on Ms. Cianciulli’s behalf.

Stacy Cianciulli is Preston’s maternal grandmother and served as his primary caretaker both prior to and following the death of his biological mother, Tiffany Hasselberger. Throughout that time frame, Preston remained domiciled in Baltimore County, Maryland. He was loved and well cared for by Ms. Cianciullo and remained closely bonded with his maternal relatives.

In 2017, Ms. Cianciulli initiated a custody action against Preston’s biological father, Mr. Jeridan Harris, in order to confirm and formalize her role as Preston’s legal caregiver. Prior to this filing, Mr. Harris had not been involved in any aspect of Preston’s care or upbringing.

In late February of 2018, Mr. Harris removed Preston from Ms. Cianciulli’s care without her consent. The change was abrupt and not otherwise approved by the court. Mr. Harris had provided several Baltimore addressed to the court in the custody case – there was nothing, however, filed to confirm his apparent change in residency to York County, Pa. Notably, Mr. Harris’ shelter was the subject of an active home study by the Court’s Office of Family Services. An interim consent order had been entered pending the outcome of the investigation.

Ms. Cianciulli remains devastated over the tragic circumstances underlying Preston’s death. She is being comforted and supported by family and friends and has asked that I express her sincere thanks to the York Area Regional Police, EMTs and health providers at York Hospital who attempted to save Preston’s life. This is obviously a sensitive matter and, in light of the ongoing nature of this investigation, Ms. Cianciulli is asking for privacy at this time.