Father investigated in fatal assault of four-month-old daughter
A 24-year-old man from Vught is being investigated for the murder of his four-month-old baby in August. The suspicion was made public on Thursday during the first hearing in the case in a Den Bosch courtroom.
Several bone fractures were found in the girl’s head and body, according to the Public Prosecution Service (OM). She died over the summer as a result of her injuries. Prosecutors said the man is also suspected of abusing the girl's brother and her mother. He is not yet being formally accused of all of these crimes, the prosecutor said.
The suspect, Denilson F., sometimes hit his partner, his lawyer said. "But that is not evidence that he abused his children."
The police and the OM did not previously disclose the case because it was still being investigated. The specific investigation into the girl's death began on 21 August. That morning, the police received a report of a baby requiring resuscitation efforts in a home in Vught. Denilson F., the girl’s father, was taken into custody as a suspect five days after the report. He has remained in detention ever since on suspicion of murder or manslaughter.
Video recorded at about 7:15 p.m. the night before showed the girl sitting in a Maxi-Cosi. She was still alive at the time, the OM said. Then the mother departed the home, and F. was left alone with the child. At about 11 p.m., records show he used Google to search for the terms "deep sleep" and "baby sleeping won't wake up." He later resisted allowing medical scans of the girl's body, the OM said.
F.’s defense attorney said that there is "no direct evidence" that F. abused the child. The attorney insisted that F. be released from custody, but the court determined there was enough evidence to keep him in pre-trial detention.
The session in the Den Bosch courthouse was well attended, and people packed the courtroom. The suspect himself did not attend in person, and participated via a video connection.
The next hearing was scheduled for 16 February. That hearing will be a status update, and is not expected to mark the start of the trial.
Reporting by ANP