Volusia County father arrested in connection with infant’s 2018 death

Vazquez is charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse

Volusia County father arrested in connection with infant’s 2018 death
Volusia County father arrested in connection with infant’s 2018 death

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A father of a less than 3-month-old baby was arrested on murder charges in connection to his baby’s death in 2018.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, Emmanuelle Vazquez, 30, was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday and taken into custody by members of a U.S. Marshal’s Service fugitive task force and the Orange County fugitive unit a short time after.

Deputies said Julius (J.J.) Vazquez was seven days short of turning 3 months old when authorities responded to the home after 911 calls reported the infant wasn’t breathing.

Deputies arrived at the house within minutes and started CPR until paramedics arrived.

According to officials, J.J. was taken to a hospital where medical personal were able to find a pulse on the baby.

J.J. was airlifted to a hospital in Daytona Beach where he died the next day, officials said.

“An autopsy revealed severe internal injuries to the head and upper torso, and J.J.’s death was ruled a homicide via blunt force,” deputies said.

According to a news release, Vazquez admitted to authorities he accidentally dropped the infant head first onto the ground in the back yard.

After an investigation into the case, investigators revealed evidence that the child’s injuries were caused by more than an accidental fall.

“Medical science tells us that the number of fractures and the trauma that J.J. suffered don’t match up with I dropped the baby on its head,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

Deputies said the same detective that started CPR on J.J. was also the detective to take Vazquez into custody Wednesday.

Vazquez is charged with first-degree felony murder and aggravated child abuse.

During a news conference Thursday, Volusia County officials said Vasquez “was very surprised - and emotional about what happened.”

According to deputies Vasquez repeatedly told investigators,"I’m a father and I couldn’t do this to my child.”