Report: Four-week-old baby girl died of blunt-force injuries to head, chest

Report: Four-week-old baby girl died of blunt-force injuries to head, chest

April 24th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Local Regional News

After a four-week-old baby died on March 4, the Hamilton County medical examiner's office found signs of both recent and healing blunt-force injuries, suggesting the day she died wasn't the first time she was abused.

The findings confirm what Chattanooga police suspected after the baby's father, 26-year-old Ivan Dunton, told police he shook his daughter Olivia because she wouldn't stop crying.

Dunton was arrested the same day and charged with criminal homicide and aggravated child abuse.

The medical examiner's report, which typically takes about six weeks to complete, states that the infant died as a result of blunt-force injuries to her head and chest.

According to the report, the infant had fractures to the skull and ribs, bleeding in the right eye and spinal cord, as well as several bruises to the face, scalp, ribs, arms, shoulders, lower back and brain tissue.

There was also evidence of healing rib fractures, meaning they weren't recent.

The medical examiner also noted the baby was in the lower percentile for height and weight and showed signs of dehydration and nutritional deficiency.

Dunton initially told police his daughter fell down a flight of 13 steel and concrete stairs at his apartment in the 2200 block of East 27th Street.

But he changed his story when police confronted him with evidence.

Dunton admitted to being "frustrated" with his girlfriend and the 4-week-old's nonstop crying. Police say that's when he grabbed the baby and "shook her violently until she stopped crying," court records show.

He then put the infant in a car seat and placed her on some stairs when his 11-month-old son started screaming. He turned around to run back upstairs to tend to his son, but in the process he kicked the car seat over, causing the seat with his daughter to "tumble down the stairs."

On Facebook, the child's mother has said she misses her baby girl.

"I've really been doing good about being strong but at this moment I'm finna lose it I just need my kids," she wrote in a public post.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.


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