'Heartbreaking': ESL police question dad in severe beating of infant girl

News-DemocratAugust 1, 2013 

— A 24-year-old East St. Louis man was being questioned Thursday in connection with a severe beating inflicted on his 5-month-old daughter.

Police did not immediately release the name of the father or the baby, who remained in critical condition on Thursday at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis.

Police Chief Michael Floore said the child's condition was "touch-and-go." He said the child-death investigation team from the St. Clair County state's attorney's office has been activated, in case the baby doesn't survive.

Police were summoned to the hospital about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday. Floore said the baby's mother took the child to a hospital because something seemed to be wrong with the baby.

"Once officers arrived at the hospital, they met with a social worker there who told them the 5-month-old had been severely beaten," Floore said. "She suffered critical injuries to her skull, left eye, brain and ribs."

A doctor said some of the injuries were fresh, Floore said.

The child's mother told police the baby had been staying with the father at the John DeShields Homes on McCasland Avenue. Police brought the father in for questioning, but no charges had been filed against him as of Thursday afternoon.

Floore said the investigation was continuing.

"There are people out there who want to have a baby, and can't. Then you have a child, and you do something like this. It's very heartbreaking," Floore said.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.