New Jersey father charged with murder in infant daughter's death

David Smith, 36 (Ocean County Prosecutor's Office)

A Lakewood Township man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of his infant daughter, authorities announced Thursday.

Back on Dec. 5 authorities responded to the Monmouth Medical Center in Lakewood for a report of a three-month-old girl who was said to have been found unresponsive by her father, David Smith.

Smith, 36, claimed that he immediately contacted 911 after finding his daughter unresponsive.

The child was transferred to Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for further evaluation and treatment.

Upon further examination, authorities say doctors found that the infant was suffering from significant internal injuries.

Smith's daughter succumbed to those injuries at the hospital on Dec. 8 and an autopsy determined the cause of death to be Shaken Baby Syndrome with blunt force trauma to the head. The manner of death was ruled homicide.

Smith was arrested at his home in Lakewood on Dec. 9 and charged with murder.

"The facts and circumstances uncovered in this investigation are beyond tragic.  What happened to this innocent baby is disturbing," Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer stated.  "We in law enforcement will always stand up and fight for the most vulnerable members in our society, and no one is more vulnerable than an infant. Parents are supposed to protect, not harm, their children. Justice will be accomplished for this precious baby."


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