A 32-year-old man in West Virginia was arrested on Monday after allegedly sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s 10-month-old infant daughter, who later died at a local hospital.
“It is with an extremely broken heart to announce that our sweet innocent baby girl’s fight is over,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe page on Wednesday. “She has succumbed to her extensive injuries.”
According to People, Benjamin Ryan Taylor has been accused of violently assaulting the infant, Emmaleigh Adkins, in the basement of his girlfriend’s home while everyone else was asleep. In a statement to police, the girl’s mother, Amanda Adkins, said that she had found her child naked, battered, and covered in blood early Monday morning, and immediately called 911 for help. The baby was then rushed to the hospital. In addition to her injuries from sexual assault, doctors stated that the 10-month-old also appeared to have been violently shaken and struck multiple times in the face.
When deputies arrived on the scene, they discovered multiple articles of clothing and blankets covered in blood. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that Taylor told police that he had brought the baby with him downstairs to the laundry room and attempted to change her diaper, but that he “blacked out” afterwards and couldn’t remember anything else.
Taylor reportedly had blood on his chest and stomach when Adkins discovered him in the laundry room with her baby. When officers went to put him in handcuffs, he also “vigorously” tried to wipe something off his groin area, later discovered to be the baby’s blood.
“I’ve been here 25 years, and we’ve never encountered something of this nature,” Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs told the Charleston Gazette-Mail, voicing his horror over the monstrous assault.
At the time of the attack, three other children were reportedly staying in Adkins’ home, but police have confirmed all three of them are safe.
Taylor is currently being held on $2 million bond at the South Central Regional Jail. If convicted, he faces between 25 and 100 years in prison.
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