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Dad smothered screaming infant daughter — then tried to shock her back to life, Ark. police say

Tyler Buchanan, 19, is charged with capital murder in the suffocation death of his infant daughter.
Tyler Buchanan, 19, is charged with capital murder in the suffocation death of his infant daughter. Crawford County Sheriff's Office

Tyler Buchanan’s daughter was screaming in the middle of the night, and he wanted to get some rest, according to court documents.

Buchanan, 19, told authorities he knew it was wrong to hold the 2-month-old child against his shoulder, stopping her from breathing, police allege, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. And when she became unresponsive about 2 a.m. June 12, he didn’t tell the baby’s mother or call 911, an affidavit said, the newspaper reported.

The mother woke up around 9 a.m. and saw Buchanan holding the baby, the newspaper said. She called 911 when he told her the child wasn’t breathing, police said.

The baby was declared dead at a hospital, 5 News reported. Police say she’d been dead for several hours, according to the news station.

Buchanan first claimed his daughter had woken up around 5 a.m. and went back to sleep after he fed her a bottle, police said. He later found that she wasn’t breathing, the affidavit said, reported the Booneville Democrat.

In an attempt to save her, Buchanan said he cut an extension cord and tried to shock her heart to bring her back to life, police allege, the newspaper reported.

Buchanan later admitted that the girl was crying and he wanted her to stop — so he smothered her, police said, 5 News reported. Authorities allege Buchanan purposely waited before alerting the mother and police, the news station said.

Buchanan was charged Monday with capital murder, according to the Democrat-Gazette. He was given a public defender, the newspaper said.

A neighbor told 5 News that Buchanan appeared to have been a loving father.

“He loved the baby ... he showed the baby off and let me play and hold the baby,” Tricia Dewberry told the news station.

The young man remained behind bars as of Wednesday, the Booneville Democrat reported.

The Bibb County sheriff’s office responded Thursday, May 24, 2018, to a report of an unresponsive infant at 1113 Cochran Avenue. Investigators are trying to determine whether foul play is involved in the 2-month-old’s death.

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