A Florida father has reportedly confessed that he killed his 6-month-old daughter because he was stressed from being without power and air conditioning while Hurricane Irma was thrashing the state, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Dekari Castell, 22, faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in connection to the death of the child, Kali, whom Castell allegedly struck twice in the head.
— Bob Hazen WESH (@HazenWESH) September 26, 2017
The girl’s mother reportedly found Kali unresponsive and not breathing on Sept. 13, prompting an urgent call to 911. Paramedics administered CPR and then rushed the girl to the hospital, where she died the following day.
The incident occurred in the same house where accused cop-killer Markeith Lloyd was arrested earlier this year for the murder of Orlando police office Debra Clayton, according to the newspaper.
Court records show that Castell’s version of events changed multiple times during the course of the investigation.
He initially claimed that he accidentally dropped the infant. Then he said Kali had fallen from a television stand. He further alleged that he was throwing the girl up into the air and that she fell.
Castell, whose daughter’s name is tattooed above his left eyebrow, eventually acknowledged that none of those stories were true. He reportedly admitted to police that he punched the girl twice in the head because she wouldn’t stop crying while he was “highly stressed” from being without power and air conditioning during the storm, records state.
A brain scan showed bleeding in the baby’s brain and multiple skull fractures, and an indention on the skull indicated that the girl had been hit instead of dropped, WKMG-TV reports.
Last year, child welfare officials investigated Castell after his 4-week-old son was hospitalized with a broken femur bone. Castell claimed that his son had “squirmed out of his grasp and fell,” and that he had caught the boy by his leg, which caused it to break.
Doctors determined that the bone was likely broken from child abuse, but criminal charges were not filed because investigators lacked probable cause.
As for the case involving the death of his daughter, Castell was booked into the Orange County Jail on Monday and made a court appearance the following day.
He is being held without bond.
[Feature Image: Postell’s Mortuary]