FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KARK) — Two people have been arrested, including the mother of 1-year-old, after police say the child’s body was found inside a closet in the bedroom of her home.
The Fayetteville Police Department says a man also charged in the case admitted to shaking the child but said he got scared and did not know what to do after the child died.
Tyler Hobbs, 21, of Farmington faces charges of first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse while Maria Giron-Molina, 21, of Decatur, faces a charge of abuse of a corpse.
Police found the baby’s body on Monday evening after officers were called to 920 North Leverett apartment #707 for a report of a deceased child.
According to a police news release issued Tuesday, the caller identified himself as Hobbs and told dispatchers the child fell down the stairs and started seizing. Hobbs said he provided medical attention, but ultimately could not revive the child, adding that “It happened a few days ago.”
Police say the child’s body was found inside the closet of the bedroom where the couple slept. The release states that the body was in an advanced state of decomposition inside a plastic container that was covered with blankets.
The FPD says Hobbs and Giron-Molina voluntarily came to the police department and spoke with investigators. Police say they gave statements that differed from their initial account of events. Noting the inconsistencies in the statements, investigators spoke with Hobbs again and say he admitted the child was crying uncontrollably, and he (Hobbs) had a headache.
The child then knocked a picture frame and lamp off of a bedside table. Angered at the child’s refusal to calm down, he picked the child up and covered its mouth with his hand to “muffle” the crying. Hobbs said the child hit and scratched him, so he shook the child back-and-forth. Hobbs said he blacked out, and when he “came to,” he saw the child was not breathing.
He told police he performed CPR to try and revive the child. His initial effort was successful, but ultimately the child died without ever receiving medical attention. Hobbs, who expressed remorse for his actions and said he did not intend to harm the child, told police he was under the influence of marijuana at the time.
The child’s body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the cause of death. The investigation is on-going.