POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A man is in custody after an infant in his care died as a result of skull fractures, a brain bleed and other injuries, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said on Dec. 9, 2019, 36-year-old Kyle Reese called 911 saying that he was caring for 2-month old twins, a 4-year-old child and a 6-year-old child when he dropped the female infant.
“There is a mark on her head, man,” Reese said in the 911 call.
The girl was airlifted to a hospital and doctors there determined she was suffering from multiple rib fractures, a skull fracture, and severe bleeding on the brain, records show. The girl died on Dec. 12, 2019.
Reese told investigators he was trying to eat after feeding all four children when the children caused one of the babies to start to fall from the couch so he tried to prevent that baby from falling and in the process, he dropped the infant he was holding in his arms, according to authorities.
Deputies said Reese claimed the baby fell head first and he might have fallen on top of her as she hit the floor.
An autopsy revealed that the girl suffered numerous bruises on her head, neck and back, two skull fractures, hemorrhaging of the optic nerves and hemorrhaging down the spinal column that indicated severe trauma, records show. Her death was ruled a homicide as a result of cranial cerebral and cervical trauma.
The child also had healed rib fractures that occurred before the incident on Dec. 9, a news release said.
Deputies said the evidence determined that a 4-foot fall would not have caused the fatal injuries.
Reese was held under the Baker Act on Dec. 13 and had to be hospitalized for self-inflicted injuries. He has since been released from a hospital and arrested on an aggravated child abuse charge.
“Please, please - if you’re not capable of taking care of children and babies, reach out for help before something horrific like this happens. Now a family is suffering the loss of a newborn baby girl because Kyle Reese was left in charge of four small children, and he did the unthinkable. He belongs behind bars,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.