BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A 2-month-old girl has died and investigators said her father may have caused the damage that resulted in her death.
Kern County Sheriff's Department deputies were sent to a home in the 900 block of Feliz Drive around 8:25 p.m. on Oct. 11, in regards to a medical aid call involving an unresponsive 2-month-old baby.
When deputies arrived, they said they found 25-year-old Serjio Luevano holding his child in the front yard of the home.
Kern County fire personnel were at the home and were able to escort Luevano inside the home and administered medical aid to the child.
Deputies said the 2-month-old child, Kiera Luevano, was not breathing and was taken to Kern Medical Center for emergency treatment. She was later airlifted to Children's Hospital Central California.
Kiera was treated at the children's hospital for non-accidental trauma with severe bleeding to the brain, deputies said. On Oct. 15, Kiera died as a result of her injuries, according to the KCSD coroner.
On Oct. 18, an autopsy was performed by the KCSD and the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
After further investigation, detectives said Kiera's injuries were caused by the actions taken by her father.
On Monday, Serjio Luevano was arrested by Kern County sheriff’s detectives on charges of murder and assault resulting in death.
He was booked into the Kern County Jail and is currently being held without bail.
The father of a 2-month-old baby girl was arrested in connection with her death Monday, but the child's mother says it was a tragic accident and he never meant the baby harm.
Serjio Luevano, 25, was booked on suspicion of murder and assault causing great bodily harm, Kern County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ray Pruitt said. He is being held without bail.
Kiera Luevano suffered blunt force trauma and severe bleeding to the brain, Pruitt said. The Sheriff's Department said its investigation established probable cause that her injuries were inflicted by her father.
The child's mother, Brandy Arellano, 24, gave this account in an interview:
She said Serjio Luevano panicked when Kiera stopped breathing on Oct. 11. He shook her after she didn't respond to CPR or water splashed in her face, the mother said. Arellano said she was at work at the time, but she believes that Serjio Luevano, her fiance, didn't mean to hurt Kiera.
"This is his first contact with a newborn baby," Arellano said. "He didn't know what to do."
Arellano has three other children -- ages 8, 4, and 3 -- and Serjio Luevano has never injured them in the 18 months they've been dating, Arellano said. He was scared and crying and kept telling Arellano he was sorry as he described what happened with Kiera, she said.
"He adored her," she said.
Arellano said Serjio Luevano has had drinking problems, but he's never been violent. She said he was a "happy, mushy drunk." He hasn't had a drink since Kiera's death, she said.
Serjio Luevano declined an interview request from jail Monday evening.
Arellano described Kiera as a very alert, energetic baby who noticed everything. She said strangers often commented about her, and she was so cute you just wanted to pinch her cheeks.
Deputies responded to Arellano's house in the 900 bock of Feliz Drive, off Cottonwood Road in southeast Bakersfield, on Oct. 11 for a report of an unresponsive child, Pruitt said. Firefighters also arrived, saw Serjio Luevano holding Kiera in the front yard, and took them inside to give her medical aid.
Kiera was taken to Kern Medical Center for emergency treatment and later airlifted to Children's Hospital Central California in Madera. She died Oct. 15. An autopsy three days later found her death to be a homicide, Pruitt said.
Serjio Luevano's arraignment has been scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Department website.