A Utah man has been arrested in the death of the disabled daughter of his then-girlfriend, who he went on to marry a year after the toddler’s death, officials said.
Jake Don Jensen, 29, was charged Monday with child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony, and child abuse, a second-degree felony, online records show.
In January 2016, emergency responders were called to Jensen’s Cottonwood home, where his girlfriend’s 19-month-old daughter was suffering a seizure, according to charging documents obtained by the Deseret News.
By the time the crew arrived on scene, the seizure stopped, but Jensen and the girl’s mother declined to have the child, identified on social media as Sophia, brought to the hospital, the documents said.
The pair said they would bring the baby to see a doctor in the coming days, but allegedly never did. Two days later, she suffered another seizure.
Sophia was brought to a local hospital, where she “never regained consciousness,” the documents said.
She died on Jan. 5, 2016.
After her death, doctors reportedly discovered the toddler’s legs were broken and in various stages of healing, but the broken bones had never been reported.
Sophia, who had cerebral palsy, also had injuries to her head and eye, the documents said.
She also suffered subdural hemorrhages believed to have been caused two to three days before her death and triggered the seizures, according to reports.
Those who examined Sophia told police her injuries were consistent with severe physical abuse and said she would have been in pain “for at least some time,” the Deseret News reported.
The injuries were believed to have occurred when Jensen was at home taking care of the baby while her mother was working, the documents said.
Jensen was allegedly unable to explain the baby’s injuries on the morning she died, authorities said.
In one statement to police, Jensen reportedly said he found Sophia already having a seizure in her crib, but in another, he said his girlfriend’s daughter went “stiff” when he gave her a bottle.
Sophia’s mother and Jensen married in March 2017 and recently had a child — another girl — together, according to social media posts.
No charges have been filed against the mother.