• Autopsy revealed the baby suffered blunt force trauma and had fractured ribs
  • Father changed his statement multiple times during interrogations by the cops
  • He now faces a second-degree murder charge for the death of infant daughter

An Arkansas man is facing second-degree murder charges in connection with the death of his four-week-old infant daughter. His wife reportedly told the cops he was taking care of the baby alone and may have harmed her while sleepwalking on the day of the incident.

Charles Dugan, 26, was arrested last week for the death of his baby, who suffered blunt force trauma in the events before her death. When the cops spoke with Dugan, they found him changing his story on different occasions since the infant’s death on Aug. 29, according to the New York Post.

The father first told cops that he placed the infant in her crib and propped a bottle of milk in her mouth before going to the bathroom. About 10 minutes later, he returned to find her “choking” on milk, according to details revealed by Sgt. Anthony Murphy from the Fayetteville Police Department.

Dugan told investigators he tried to clear her airway and call 911, but the call wasn’t connecting; it was a neighbor who finally placed the call for help. The infant was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

The autopsy results, received by the police department about three months later, revealed that the baby had suffered blunt force trauma and fractured ribs. The new revelations from the autopsy prompted the police department to once again interrogate the infant's parents. This was when Dugan had another story to tell investigators.

According to Sgt. Murphy, the father said he fell asleep with the child on his chest at some point that day. He then woke up to the child screaming on the floor and said she may have fallen down from his chest. Dugan also said he wasn’t sure if the child hit the coffee table near the sofa during the fall or landed directly on the ground. Based on Dugan’s story, the fall happened about 30-45 minutes before he placed the baby in her crib, as reported by 5NEWS.

Sgt. Murphy said Dugan failed to mention the fall to cops earlier and gave “a litany of self-serving excuses, putting his own interests above the health of the child."

Investigators arrived at the couple’s apartment, days later, to measure the distance of the baby’s fall. That’s when the mother told the police that Dugan may have been sleepwalking in the lead-up to their infant’s death. She said he often sleepwalks and once tried to “body slam” her in his sleep.

Dugan, meanwhile, told the police he couldn’t remember if he was sleepwalking while taking care of his daughter. He also couldn’t recall whether he woke up standing or sitting after the child fell, as per details provided by Sgt. Murphy.

The police report said Dugan was arrested Thursday for battery unrelated to the infant’s death, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He was questioned the next day and told cops he couldn’t remember what happened on the day his daughter died. He now faces a charge of second-degree murder for the infant’s death.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay