A northwest Indiana man has been charged with beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter, then refusing to get medical attention until the baby died.
Antonio Harris, 19, is charged with murder, neglect of a dependent, and battery in connection with the death of Nieyely Lopez of Lake Station, Ind., according to the Lake County (Ind.) state’s attorney’s office.
According to prosecutors, Nieyely’s mother and Harris smoked pot and had sex Sunday morning at her apartment in Lake Station before she left for work, leaving Harris to watch her daughter.
Harris told police he later found Nieyely with her eyes rolled back and not breathing, and tried performing CPR. He then called his aunt, who came and picked him up, according to prosecutors.
They drove around until they spotted a Gary Fire Department truck in the 1500 block of Lake Street in Gary, and flagged it down, prosecutors said. A fireman told officers he was handed a small child wrapped in a blanket who was “cold and not responsive.”
Firefighters took Nieyely to Methodist Hospitals Northlake in Gary, where she was pronounced dead at 9:45 a.m., authorities said.
Harris and his aunt then drove to the nursing home where Nieyely’s mother’s works and told her what happened. She initially lied to police about Harris’s name and their relationship — telling them Harris was her cousin, not her boyfriend — because she thought her daughter’s death was an accident, prosecutors said.
She later admitted she noticed her daughter was “more hesitant about hugging and kissing Harris recently,” though she never saw Harris punish her physically, prosecutors. She passed a lie detector test.
Nieyely suffered several blunt force injuries, including a lacerated liver, bleeding, a rib fracture, internal and external bruising, and a “crushing blow” to her liver, authorities said. An autopsy found the injuries were less than 24 hours old, and her death was ruled a homicide.
Harris denied killing the child, but admitted to being alone with her after her mother left for work, prosecutors said.
He is being held at the Lake County Jail. Court information was not immediately available.