A 28-year-old father, identified as Damian, has been taken into custody and charged with battery resulting in the death of a child under 14 years old, in connection with the tragic passing of his 1-year-old daughter, Amaya.
According to prosecutors, the father is accused of pulling his daughter’s arm, then proceeding to pick her up and embrace her in what has been described as a bear hug. During this incident, her nose and mouth were pressed into his chest, and one of his hands was placed on the back of her neck, leading to her gasping for air.
Tragically, Amaya passed away with ligament injuries to her neck and swelling in her brain due to a lack of oxygen. The father brought his 1-year-old daughter to the hospital, where he informed doctors that she was having trouble breathing. Hospital staff, recognizing the suspicious nature of the baby’s injuries, immediately alerted the authorities.
The child was subsequently admitted to the intensive care unit, where she fought for her life for six days before ultimately succumbing to her injuries and being pronounced dead.
The hospital’s Child Protection Team reportedly indicated that her injuries could potentially have resulted from violent shaking. Medical professionals also noted severe brain swelling likely due to oxygen deprivation, in addition to ligament injuries on the child’s neck. Furthermore, the 1-year-old had multiple visible scratches on her face.
In an initial interview with investigators, the father claimed that his daughter had been fussy all day following her awakening, suddenly experiencing breathing difficulties and eventually becoming unresponsive.
He also mentioned that several weeks earlier, Amaya had been brought to the same hospital after falling and hitting her head on the carpet. He attempted to explain that the injuries sustained on this previous occasion were responsible for her current condition.
However, in a subsequent interview, the father allegedly confessed that the day before his daughter was hospitalized, he had become frustrated with her. It was during this period of frustration that he reportedly pulled the child by the arm, picked her up, and administered a bear hug, pressing her nose and mouth into his chest while placing one of his hands on the back of her neck. This action caused her to struggle for breath.
Doctors involved in the investigation have suggested that the child’s injuries, particularly the oxygen deprivation to her brain, could be attributed to this bear hug incident.