INDIANAPOLIS, IN – A man charged with the murder of a 3-year-old girl has admitted to beating the girl to death because she had soiled herself.
Last Tuesday, police were called to a home where they found 21-year-old Jose Cruz hysterical and his girlfriend in a bedroom with her 3-year-old daughter, Carmen. Police say the girl was not breathing and was “covered in bruises from head to toe.” She was rushed to the hospital and placed on a ventilator, but Carmen was pronounced dead on Wednesday. A medical evaluation determined the girl’s bruises were the result of beings struck with a flexible object, and that she had blunt force trauma to the abdominal area.
Cruz, who was initially arrested on preliminary charges of attempted murder, told investigators that he became upset over the fact that Carmen had soiled herself. In response, he says he beat Carmen with a brown leather belt, shook her, pulled her hair and threw her into a television. Police would later retrieve a brown leather belt from the home as well as a black power cord.
This isn’t the first time Cruz has been accused of abusing Carmen. Back in July, someone called police after seeing what they thought was bite marks on the girl’s face, and bruises on her body. No arrests were made at that time, but police did notify Department of Child Services who confirmed they’d had recent contact with the family. No charges have been filed against Carmen’s mother, but the investigation is still underway. An infant that was in the home has been placed in protective custody.Tags: Beating, Child Abuse, Crime, Indiana, Jose Cruz