A Georgia man has been charged with second degree murder after he was arrested and allegedly failed to tell police his infant daughter was in his car.
Seven hours later, a grandmother brought the baby to an emergency room, where the little girl was pronounced dead, as CrimeOnline previously reported. The grandmother told hospital staff the baby was left in the car after a traffic stop.
According to WXIA, the incident began about 2 p.m. Tuesday when Davied Japez McCorry Whatley, 20, came to the Snellville Police Department to pick up firearms that had been confiscated in an earlier case. While he was there, police discovered he had an arrest warrant for a probation violation.
Whatley was arrested and taken to the Gwinnett County Jail in Lawrenceville. But at no time, police said, did he mention that his 8-month-old daughter, Nova Grace Whateley-Trejo, was in his car in the parking lot. Investigators added that he was recorded by body cameras from the time he arrived at police headquarters until he was taken to jail.
Whatley’s family, however, says that he begged police to check on his daughter, WSB reported.
“All they had to do was listen. They thought he was lying,” Leticia Padilla, the grandmother, said.
Padilla told WSB that Whatley was able to call a friend at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, and that friend called Padilla. She rushed to the parking lot.
“He told them. He loved his daughter,” Padilla said, adding that she doesn’t believe the police.
“They can say whatever they want to,” she said. “They have to cover their tracks.”
A WSB reporter has obtained the body camera footage from Snellville police and is painstakingly going through it. By early Wednesday evening, the station said, the reporter hadn’t heard Whatley mention his daughter, but she still has more to go.
Whatley bonded out of jail later Tuesday night on the misdemeanor probation violation but was arrested again on Wednesday after the death of his daughter.
Temperatures in the Atlanta area reached 86 degrees Tuesday afternoon. It’s not clear if Whatley left any windows down in his car.
Snellville Police has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct the investigation into the baby’s death.
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[Featured image: Nova Whatley-Trejo/handout]