WARNING - DISTRESSING CONTENT: A 29-year-old man has been charged over the death of his 10-month-old baby after he allegedly raped her.
Austin Stevens, from the US state of Pennsylvania, was looking after his daughter Zara Scruggs when she was found responsive in his apartment on October 3.
Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a press conference the young girl was found unresponsive after authorities responded to a 911 call.
She was given CPR at the scene and transported to hospital, but was pronounced dead just after 12am on Sunday.
Mr Steele said the baby was wearing a nappy saturated in blood and it was determined the young girl was a victim of sexual assault and had sustained blunt force trauma to the head.
“Saturday was a nightmare for all of us,” Mr Steele said in the press conference.
Dad’s harrowing Google search revealed
Mr Steele added the baby was in Stevens’ sole care when the incident occurred.
Detectives obtained a search warrant to download his mobile phone data, where they found a number of Google searches starting at 9.27pm leading up to the 911 call at 10.40pm.
“Stevens conducted multiple Google searches with subjects that included, ‘if baby stopped breathing, what if you don’t hear baby heart beat, my baby isn’t breathing and how do you know if a baby is dead’,” Mr Steele said.
Stevens has been arrested on multiple felony charges of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, rape of a child, aggravated assault and aggravated indecent assault endangering the welfare of child and others.
“The investigation into this horrific and deeply disturbing case is ongoing,” Mr Steele told reporters.
“It is hard to imagine how this child’s death could be any more traumatic. Sexual assault on an infant is heinous, and then followed by the inaction of her father to save her life. All this led to this child’s death.”
Mr Steele said they had also learned the alleged offender was an assistant coach for the Lower Providence Warriors football team.
Police have called on anybody with information about the alleged assault to contact police.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.