MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach Police have arrested a man accused of beating his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter to death.
Officers arrested 27-year-old Dennys Llopiz, charging him for the first-degree murder of Skylar Hartley.
According to police, Llopiz called 911 after he claimed to have found the toddler unresponsive in the bathtub Friday morning. The girl was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Investigators said Llopiz told them he had left the child in the bathtub after she had defecated on herself and that she was not breathing when he returned a few minutes later.
After an examination, doctors found a host of external and internal injuries on the child, which they said appeared to have been caused by blunt-force trauma a couple of hours before her death.
“The autopsy was very troubling: bruising [on] the head, the face,” said Miami Beach Police spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez. “Internal organs bruised, air sacs in the lungs ruptured, liver was in disarray. All of this consistent, according to the medical examiner, with injuries sustained hours before the death of that child.”
Jeffery Hartley, the toddler’s father, said he’s still in disbelief over the loss of his little girl.
“She was the best. She was like no other baby I ever met,” said Hartley. “She was just an angel. She was the most amazing daughter anyone could ask for.”
Hartley told 7News that his daughter previously told him that her mother’s boyfriend had hurt her, and that he confronted the mother about Llopiz.
“‘He pulls my hair, hits my head, pushes me,'” said Hartley. “I said don’t leave her with him alone, ever.”
Hartley said his wishes were not honored, and now the family is left to pick up the pieces.
“He’s gonna pay for what he’s done,” said Hartley.
Investigators said Llopiz told them he went fishing with the child and her mother on Thursday night, and while they were out, the girl fell on some rocks and received an injury to her head.
However, the girl’s mother told police they never went fishing, and Llopiz said he was the only person with the child before her death.
Officers ruled the death a homicide and arrested Llopiz at Jackson Memorial Hospital South.
“The victim of any crime, it’s difficult when you’re dealing with a child, ” said Rodriguez, “someone who is helpless and defenseless. It adds an extra layer.”
It is unclear what led up to the incident, but police said text messages Llopiz sent to his girlfriend said he was upset with the girl for painting on a photo of him.
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