When an Arkansas mother who suffered from childbirth complications came home from the hospital last week, she made a devastating find.
Her newborn baby boy was lying dead on the couch, and the child’s father was nowhere to be found.
Neighbor Sheresa Dodson watched the mom find her son, she told KATV:
“Rescue was walking up, and there was a woman on the telephone screaming ‘The baby’s dead. We just got home from the hospital, we didn’t have the keys, I broke in, the baby’s on the sofa, dead.’”
Now, police say the child’s father, Mark Weldon Lewis, has admitted to killing the newborn.
According to WGNO, Lewis was home alone with the 2-week-old baby on March 27 as the mom remained hospitalized.
He later told police that he had nobody to help him and became frustrated with the child. That’s when he allegedly punched the child with such force in the head that he died.
Once Lewis realized his son was dead, he said he left the apartment with some clothes and threw away the key.
He did not contact the child’s mother, who found the baby two days later when she came home.
The father was taken into custody for a previous warrant on Wednesday and later told police what happened to the baby.
Lewis has since been charged with first-degree murder and is being held at Washington County Detention Center.
His neighbor said she wished he would have asked her for help if he needed it. Dodson said:
“They do cry and it’s a baby crying, they just wanting something. Then to come out last night and find that the baby that I’ve heard crying — the sweet little sounds — is dead.”
According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, many children killed by their parents in the United States die from “battered child syndrome,” in which a parent lashes out in frustration, causing injury.
In these cases, most parents don’t intend to kill their child.
However, the study stated that most children are killed by parents on purpose because they are no longer wanted.
If you suspect child abuse is occurring in your area, report it to your local authorities or child protective services.