A 10-month-old infant from Providence Township, Pennsylvania, died after being sexually assaulted by her own father. The suspect allegedly raped his infant daughter and waited for over an hour before finally calling emergency services.
According to CBS Local, the incident occurred on October 3. Police officers were called to the home at 3400 block of Germantown Road at around 10:40 pm. The caller mentioned an unresponsive child, and that’s where they discovered the unconscious infant Zara Scruggs.
The 29-year-old father, Austin Stevens, claimed that he found his infant daughter unresponsive in their apartment. Officers performed CPR on the little girl and immediately transported her to Einstein Medical Center. The next day, on October 4, the victim died from her injuries.
‘Evil’ dad browsed on his phone while daughter lay dying
Photo: I Heart Intelligence
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Police launched an investigation on the infant’s suspicious death. Background investigation revealed that prior to calling emergency services, Stevens even had the time to consult Google on his mobile phone. His search history included ‘my baby isn’t breathing, ‘how do you know if a baby is dead,’ and ‘what if you don’t hear baby heart or beat.’
They also obtained a warrant to search Stevens’ home. In the upstairs apartment, police discovered the infant’s diaper which was soaked in blood. This was suspected to be the diaper she wore during the assault.
According to Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office press release, the autopsy showed that the infant suffered from anal rectal trauma and died due to blunt force trauma in the head.
“The diaper was saturated with blood. This case is deeply disturbing. It is hard to imagine this child’s death being any more traumatic: sexual assault on an infant, followed by inaction by the father to save her life, led to her death.”
Grieving family sets up GoFundMe page
Photo: Fox 5 DC
Stevens was eventually arrested and charged for the murder and assault of his infant daughter. He’s currently held at the county jail with a bond of $1 million.
He will be facing multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault, rape of a child, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Meanwhile, to support the funeral expenses, the victim’s family started a GoFundMe page. Zara’s mom, Erica Scruggs, shares the custody with Stevens. According to Erica, her parents were the last person to saw the baby alive before turning her over to Stevens’ house.
“Our beautiful Zara Lynn Scruggs was taken from us by a monster. She deserved to grow up. She deserved to be with her family. She deserved all the amazing things in this world. She didn’t deserve to die at the young age of 10 months.”
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