Philadelphia – Montgomery County authorities announced Tuesday the arrest of a man on charges related to the death of his 10-month-old daughter.
According to officials, police were dispatched to a home in the 3400 block of Germantown Road in Lower Providence Township on Saturday, October 3 at around 10:40 p.m. after a 911 call about an unborn baby. answered.
Upon arrival, they found Zara Scruggs , the unresponsive baby, and her father, Austin Stevens, 29. The 10-month-old infant was taken to Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, where she died shortly after midnight.
A search warrant for Stevens’ phone showed he had done multiple Google searches for nearly an hour before calling 911, authorities said. Topics included “If the baby stops breathing,” “What if you can’t hear the baby’s heart or beat?”, “My baby isn’t breathing,” and “How do you know if a baby is dead?”
Stevens also had conversations on social media and text messages with two women during this time that were unrelated to the baby’s condition, the researchers said.
According to authorities, an autopsy on the baby determined that Zara Scruggs was the victim of a sexual assault .
“This case is deeply disturbing. It is difficult to imagine that the death of this child is more traumatic: the sexual assault of a baby, followed by the inaction of the father to save her life, led to her death,” Steele said.
Investigators added that Stevens was an assistant coach for the Lower Providence Warriors football team.
Anyone with information about other acts of abuse related to Stevens should call the police.
Stevens and his daughter had just moved into their Germantown Pike home on Oct. 1, police said.
Stevens is charged with involuntary deviant sex, aggravated assault and other charges, authorities said.
Bail was set at $ 1 million, which Stevens did not post. He was booked into the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. He is represented by a public defender.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 13.