A Minnesota 7-month-old was allegedly murdered by her mother’s live-in boyfriend three days after a paternity test confirmed that he was not the father of the child. The suspect, Chris McMorris, could spend the next 30 years of his life behind bars for the gruesome slaying.
Workers at the toddler’s day care had been noticing injuries on the child during the days leading up to her death. She had been dropped off with two burst blood vessels in her eye, and bruises and scratches on her cheek and back.
Staff asked McMorris about the baby’s injuries and he told them the infant had received them at their Brooklyn Park home.
The next day, he did not drop her off at day care.
Instead, the 24-year-old called 911.
When first responders arrived that the house, McMorris was sitting on a bed and talking on the phone. The 7-month-old was lying on the floor motionless.
McMorris was unable to explain why the baby had bruises or why she had suddenly stopped breathing. He said only that she had been vomiting a white substance.
Less than two hours later, she was pronounced dead.
According to Breaking 911:
Details in the statement of probable cause indicate that the infant died a painful death. She had 11 rib fractures, plus bruises on her scalp, abdomen, back and buttocks. Her lacerated liver bled into her abdominal cavity, the document says.
Based on her injuries, authorities said she was struck in the abdomen multiple times. They ruled her death a homicide.
“Just because a person ends up being the last person with the baby when the baby dies doesn’t mean that person caused the injuries to the baby,” said McMorris’s attorney, Ira Whitlock. “Mr. McMorris was with the baby, but it doesn’t mean he inflicted the injuries to the child.”
McMorris is currently in custody in the Hennepin County Jail as he awaits a court hearing scheduled for Sept. 22. His bail has been set at $1.5 million.
It is unclear at this time whether the child’s mother will face any charges.