Four months after a Belleview woman found her 18-month-old son unresponsive in her home, Marion County sheriff's deputies on Monday arrested the woman's boyfriend in connection with the child's death.
Daniel Vanhorn, 26, was arrested at the Marion County Jail, where he was being held on a charge of failing to pay child support.
He is charged with third-degree murder in the death of Baylee Schoenwolf.
"The autopsy showed that the child died from blunt force to the head," sheriff's detective Mark Peavy said Monday afternoon. "It was ruled a homicide, and Mr. Vanhorn has been charged today."
On March 20, deputies went to the Whispering Oaks Mobile Home Park in Belleview just as paramedics were taking Baylee to Munroe Regional Medical Center, according to the arrest affidavit.
The child was pronounced dead on arrival.
Investigators questioned Baylee's mother, Heather Schoenwolf, and Vanhorn. They learned that Vanhorn was alone with Schoenwolf's two children while she was at work the prior evening.
Schoenwolf said she came home and got her 5-year-old up for school and then went into Baylee's room.
"She went to tickle his feet and found that he wasn't responding," Peavy said. "At the hospital, he had a relatively high body temperature (of 104 degrees)."
The affidavit states that Vanhorn told detectives that he put the two children to bed at about 8 p.m. the night before. Baylee had gotten up out of bed two or three times during the night, he said, and that he went to bed for good around 11:30 p.m.
Vanhorn told investigators that he had not spanked Baylee as he put him back to bed, according to the affidavit.
But further investigation showed that Baylee had bruising on his head and an injury to his right ear. An autopsy on April 3, which was finalized on June 17, determined that Baylee's death was a homicide.
On June 30, investigators questioned the older child, who said that Vanhorn threw Baylee onto the bed, which caused him to "bounce off and hit the wall and then die," according to the affidavit.
Detectives then went looking for Vanhorn but could not find him.
"We learned that he had changed his address and moved after the investigation started," Peavy said. Officials tracked him down in Sarasota County. On Thursday they arrested him on the unrelated warrant for failing to pay child support for his own child.
Vanhorn was transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was being held without bail.