A Pennsylvania father was arrested for raping and killing his 10-month-old daughter — allegedly waiting an hour to call the cops as he searched terms like “my baby isn’t breathing,” police said.
Austin Stevens, 29, was charged with involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, rape of a child, aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault, endangering the welfare of a child and other offenses, NBC Philadelphia reported.
His daughter, Zara Scruggs, was found unresponsive in his Lower Providence Township home on Saturday night. The infant was taken to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery and pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m. Sunday, less than two hours after he called 911.
An autopsy on Sunday determined that Zara was sexually assaulted and suffered blunt force trauma to the head. The cause and manner of death is still pending.
The girl had been picked up from her grandparents’ home in Norristown and taken to Stevens’ apartment, which had no heat or hot water, for the night, NBC reported.
Stevens, a youth football coach in the area, allegedly Googled “if baby stop breathing,” “what if you don’t hear baby heart or beat,” “my baby isn’t breathing” and “how do you know if a baby is dead” for nearly an hour before calling 911, investigators found.
He also chatted with two women on social media and texts during that time about topics unrelated to the baby.
“This case is deeply disturbing. It is hard to imagine this child’s death being any more traumatic: sexual assault on an infant, followed by inaction by the father to save her life, led to her death,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said.
Stevens is being held in Montgomery County Correctional Facility on $1 million bail.
His next court hearing is Oct. 13.
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