Step-Dad Shakes, Whacks 11-Month-Old Baby to Death
A man has been charged with negligent manslaughter in the death of his 11-month-old step son, Polk County investigators say.
Edwin Cruz Vargas, 25, was arrested Monday, after investigators say, he shook and whacked 11-month-old Josiah Figuerson on Saturday.
Investigators say, the boy was left in Vargas’ care for about one hour when his mother left the home to go on an appointment.
Vargas told detectives he was trying to teach the baby to walk and got frustrated and shook him. He also told investigators he tried to feed the boy a bottle of formula, but the baby won’t take it. He whacked him on the back then called 911 and attempted CPR, Vargas told investigators, when the baby became unresponsive. He also said he slapped and punched the baby while doing CPR hoping to wake him up.
An autopsy revealed that the baby had a broken lower back, a torn diaphragm around the spinal column, eight bruises to the top of his head and two small bruises on the back of his head, all consistent with being struck by knuckles.
The medical examiner ruled that little Josiah died from blunt injury and the manner of death was ruled a homicide.
Vargas, of 111 Oleander Avenue in Auburndale, was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated child abuse and one count of negligent manslaughter of a child. He was booked into the Polk County Jail on Monday.