An Opelika man is facing a murder charge after his 2-month-old daughter died Tuesday, Chief Shane Healey announced at a press conference Friday.
Demarcus Smith, 19, of Opelika, was arrested and charged with murder after his daughter was taken to the hospital and died as a result of head trauma on Tuesday, according to Healey.
“The entire Opelika Police department mourns the loss of [the victim], and our thoughts are with her mother and her family as they deal with this excruciating loss,” Healey said. “These are the kinds of cases that take a piece of your soul. I want to commend the officers and detectives that worked on this case.”
On Tuesday at about 11:40 a.m., Opelika police officers responded to the East Alabama Medical Center in reference to a deceased child and learned an unresponsive 2-month-old girl was brought to the emergency room by her father, Healey said. Medical staff attempted life-saving measures, but were unable to revive the child.
Officers began investigating the death, and an autopsy of the child showed that she had suffered head trauma that resulted in her death. The investigation revealed that the child was in her father’s care at the time the head trauma was inflicted, Healey said.
On Thursday, officers executed a search warrant at the victim’s home to search for evidence in the investigation, and they brought Smith in for questioning, according to Healey.
“Mr. Smith provided details which corroborated evidence linking him to the death of his daughter,” Healey said. “After consultation with the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Smith was arrested at 3:25 p.m. on one count of murder.”
Smith was taken to the Lee County Detention Center where he is currently being held, Healey said.
Healey said the case remains under investigation, and anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to contact the Opelika Police Department’s detective division at 334-705-5220 or the secret witness hotline at 334-745-8665.