LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WTVO) — Police in Pennsylvania arrested a man who is charged with the death of his 10-month-old daughter.
According to WPVI, police were called to a home in the 3400 block of Germantown Road around 10:40 p.m. on Saturday, answering a 911 call about an unresponsive baby.
Police said they found the baby, Zara Scruggs, and her 29-year-old father, Austin Stevens. The baby was taken to the hospital but soon died.
According to authorities, a search warrant was issued for Stevens’ phone, which showed that for an hour before he called 911, he made searches for subject such as “If baby stops breathing,” “What if you don’t hear baby heart or beat,” “My baby isn’t breathing,” and “How do you know if a baby is dead?”
Police also said he conducted conversations not related to the baby’s condition via text and social media with two women, during the same time.
An autopsy later determined that the baby was the victim of a sexual assault.
“This case is deeply disturbing. It is hard to imagine this child’s death being any more traumatic: sexual assault on an infant, followed by inaction by the father to save her life, led to her death,” Montgomery County DA Kevin R. Steele is quoted as saying.
Stevens is charged with involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated assault and other charges.
Stevens is the co-owner of a construction company, and is also an assistant coach for the Lower Providence Warriors football team, according to investigators.
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