FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KATV) — Fayetteville police arrested a couple after a 1-year-old child was found dead in their bedroom closet.
On October 30, officers were called to an apartment on North Leverett in reference to a deceased child. The caller, who identified himself as 21-year-old Tyler Hobbs, told dispatchers the child fell down the stairs and started seizing, but his attempts to help the baby were unsuccessful. Police report Hobbs said the incident happened "a few days ago," but he got scared.
At the home, officers found the child in an advanced state of decomposition inside a plastic container placed in the couple's bedroom closet.
Hobbs and 21-year-old Maria Giron-Molina, the child's mother, voluntarily came to the police department to speak with investigators, but authorities say they gave inconsistent statements about the events.
Investigators again spoke with Hobbs, who then admitted the child had been crying uncontrollably and had knocked items off a table on a night Hobbs had a headache. He says he angrily picked up the child and covered the baby's mouth to "muffle" the sound and shook the baby back-and-forth when the child started hitting. He told police he blacked out and when he "came to," the child was not breathing. He attempted to revive the baby, who died without receiving medical attention.
According to police, Hobbs said he was under the influence of marijuana at the time and did not mean to harm the baby.
Authorities arrested Hobbs and Giron-Molina for abuse of a corpse, with Hobbs facing the additional charge of first-degree murder.
The child's body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine a cause of death.
The investigation is ongoing.