A 30-year-old Florida man has been charged in the horrendous death of his infant daughter after stuffing a baby wipe down the child’s throat, obstructing her airway.
On May 28, 2021, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Dispatch received the 911 call we never want to receive, a report of an unresponsive 2-month-old infant.
“Our dispatchers immediately began giving CPR instructions to the caller while simultaneously notifying deputies and fire rescue to respond,” said IRCSO.
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As deputies arrived on the scene in Vero Beach FL, they made contact with the caller later identified as the infant’s father, Joseph Napier,30, as well as his 2-month-old infant daughter who was unresponsive and “turning blue” according to the deputy.
CPR was quickly taken over by the deputy who rushed the infant to the ambulance. Despite the life-saving efforts of everyone involved, the infant did not survive.
During the preliminary investigation, Napier told deputies the infant choked and he could only see a small white object in the back of her mouth. He then gave a timeline of events and claimed he left the child unattended, on a couch, with his 18-month-old daughter for approximately 10 minutes.
When he returned to the room he discovered the child was choking and in distress but still waiting approximately 5 minute before calling 911.
Detectives later determined that Napier spent approximately 30 minutes on his cell phone making his timeline inaccurate.
During an exam of the 2-month-old, a baby wipe was removed from deep within the infants throat, that caused the airway obstruction.
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Based on all of the evidence gathered, and in consultation with medical physicians, it was determined that the only person present at the time of the incident that could have placed the wipe that deep in the child’s throat was Joseph Napier.
After a two-year investigation, Joseph Napier was arrested by detectives on the charge of manslaughter. He is currently being held at the Indian River County Jail on a $750,000 bond.
“While this investigation involved the tragic loss of life, we are hoping that this arrest can give some closure to the friends and family,” said IRCSO.
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