Relatives were the ones who first told officials something didn't sound right about what 27-year-old Samantha Trump and 25-year-old Shaun C. Oxenreider were telling them about the baby girl's death, according to Reading Eagle.
When police went to search the Spring Township, Penn., home in March, they found the couple's baby dead, shoved into a crawl space behind a locked bathroom door and buried in a container of kitty litter, according to Lehigh Valley Live.
Months later, the two parents now face murder charges in her death, the Reading Eagle reported.
"When you see a young child's life taken away, unnaturally, in a situation where they were abused to the point where they were murdered, that's tough to swallow," said John Adams, Berks County District Attorney, told WFMZ.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Police say they were initially called to the home in March after relatives contacted them with suspicions about the death of the baby, according to PennLive.
When officers arrived at the door, Trump collapsed, went into convulsions and had to be taken to the hospital, Fox 43 reported.
As police searched the home, the officers found a locked bathroom door, according to the station. Inside, they found another door leading to a crawlspace, and inside that, they found a container of kitty litter with the baby's body in a trash bag buried inside, according to the station.
Trump and Oxenreider were arrested and faced charges of concealing the death of a child, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy, according to Lehigh Valley Live. Police continued to investigate the case and have now charged the pair with homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, concealing the death of a child and abuse of a corpse, according to WFMZ.
A forensic autopsy determined that the child died of blunt force trauma and "homicidal violence" and that the injuries were the result of "repeated episodes of squeezing and blunt force impacts (that) are indicative of prolonged abuse," according to Penn Live.
"Any time we are dealing with the death of a very, very young child, these are difficult cases,” Adams told WFMZ and CNN.
"You're dealing with the decomposition of a body. I'm sure it was challenging from a scientific angle to determine the cause of death,” Adams told the station. “They found badly broken bones, blunt force trauma. All of which conclusively led to the fact that this child did not die naturally."
Oxenreider's attorney told the Associated Press his client wasn't the child's primary caregiver, and both parents were jailed in lieu of $250,000 bonds.
Adams told the Reading Eagle officials were still trying to uncover all the details of what happened in the case..
"This is an ongoing investigation,” he told the paper. “The cause of death is homicide, but we know there is a lot of information that we are still trying to gather and we will continue to gather."