Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dad charged with 2nd-degree murder in smothering death of 5-month-old daughter (Baltimore, Maryland)

Dad is identified as JEFFERY MCKINNEY. Note that the mother apparently lives in Virginia, suggesting this is a custody/visitation case. Sounds like Daddy neglected to contact authorities for a long time, if the body had already passed the stage of rigor mortis.

By Kim Dacey

Baltimore man accused of smothering 5-month-old daughter

Jeffery McKinney, 23, charged with second-degree murder, child abuse

UPDATED 5:26 PM EDT Oct 05, 2015

BALTIMORE —A 23-year-old Baltimore man has been charged in the death of his 5-month-old daughter, city police said.

Police said officers responded at 5 p.m. Saturday to a home in the 6400 block of Sefton Avenue for a report of an unresponsive infant. The 5-month-old child was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital for treatment.

Police said medical staff discovered that the infant had passed the stage of rigor mortis, and 5-month-old Noran Lee Torbet was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Family members of the child were questioned and detectives centered on the child's father, identified as Jeffery McKinney, as a person of interest.

Police said McKinney confessed that he became frustrated when the infant would not stop crying. He placed a pillow on top of the baby to muffle the sound of her cries, police said.

"This was no accident. This was absolutely no accident. The suspect confessed to us there were several pillows placed over top of the baby's body to get it from crying," Baltimore police Director T.J. Smith said.

After realizing that his daughter was unresponsive, police said, McKinney put the baby on the edge of the mattress against the bedroom wall and piled pillows on top of her.

Police said McKinney went downstairs and asked family members if they had seen the infant. Once they found the child, the infant’s grandmother immediately began CPR while waiting for the ambulance to arrive.

"You talk about an absolute tragedy. This is not an exciting announcement that a murderer is off the street, it's a 5-month-old who's dead as a result. There's a mother who doesn't have the child, there's a grandmother who doesn't have her granddaughter any longer as a result of these actions," Smith said.

Neighbors said the family kept to themselves. They said Sefton Avenue is a street with many young families.

"I couldn't imagine that happening to my daughter. A child's innocent, really. Can't do too much to people. It's sad when anybody gets harmed, but what could a child do to you to kill them?" said Neil Armstrong, who has a 9-month-old daughter.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified said she saw McKinney last week with his baby daughter.

"The baby was crying in the stroller down here, but when he walked back here, he talked to my husband and I. We were out with our dogs, he was holding the baby and loving the baby and said his girlfriend was in Virginia," the neighbor said.

McKinney was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, assault and child abuse.