A North Laurel man was arrested and charged yesterday afternoon with murdering and physically abusing an 8-month-old infant, police said.
Howard County police said William Paul English, 22, of the 9100 block of Blues Alley was responsible for inflicting the injuries that caused the infant to die six days ago at Children's National Medical Center in Washington.
English is charged with second-degree murder, child abuse and second-degree assault, and he is being held at the Southern District police station in North Laurel.
Police said an autopsy performed on the infant revealed that the girl died because of "sustained injuries to the head."
Sgt. Karen Shinham said police began investigating possible child abuse June 2, when they were dispatched to a Weis Supermarket in North Laurel after receiving a call that a baby was having difficulty breathing. The girl was flown to Children's National Medical Center, where she remained in poor health until she died Friday.
"The victim's health began to deteriorate due to the significant injuries which she had sustained to her head," Shinham said. The District of Columbia medical examiner's office ruled the death a homicide.
Shinham said English told authorities that the baby was sitting on the ground outside the supermarket when she fell and injured her head.
Shinham said English is the boyfriend of the baby sitter who was responsible for supervising the infant. Police would not say whether they consider English's girlfriend a suspect, and they would not reveal the name of the girlfriend, the baby or the identity of her parents. The girlfriend is 17 years old, police said.
English is scheduled to appear before a District Court commissioner this morning, when bail will be set.