Authorities in Indiana elevated the charges against a man accused of battery after an autopsy determined his newborn son’s death was caused by asphyxiation by homicide.
According to WRTV, 23-year-old Orlando Mota was arrested last year after medics found 1-month-old Damian Mota unresponsive in an Indianapolis apartment.
A scan of the boy’s body reportedly showed three acute rib fractures and healing fractures in as many as 15 ribs. He was pronounced dead on Aug. 29, 2017.
Police say the father admitted during an interview that he had become increasingly frustrated with the child for interrupting his sleep.
The injuries, Orlando Mota claimed, came from a “practice” he said he used to tire the baby.
When investigators gave him a life-size doll to demonstrate the procedure, a court document claims he put it against his chest with both arms and “began squeezing the doll until the doll cracked.”
The suspect allegedly confessed to having used that amount of pressure on multiple occasions in an attempt to quiet his crying son.
He reportedly said the child’s mother was in the same room on one of the “maybe three or four times” the abuse occurred.
April Pena reportedly confirmed to police that she was aware of the abuse and continued to allow Mota to care for the child. She faces two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury.
Mota’s charges were enhanced to include a level 1 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He is set to appear in court in April.