Irving PD: Man beat's girlfriend's 1-year-old daughter to death
IRVING, Texas - A 19-year-old man was arrested after Irving police say he beat his girlfriend's 1-year-old girl to death and abused her 6-month-old brother.
Investigators were called to an Irving home on Jan. 4 and found 1-year-old Olivia Cangemi unresponsive and a 6-month-old boy injured.
The kids were left in the care of their mother's boyfriend, 19-year-old Allante Edwards. Police say he's the one who called 911.
Olivia was taken by ambulance to Children's Medical Center in Dallas with bleeding and swelling in the brain, bruising on her forehead and chest, healing rib fractures, and signs of abdominal trauma.
Olivia died Sunday afternoon following a length of time on life-support. Her mother, Jennifer, says they donated her organs including her heart, kidneys and liver.
"She can live on through other children, and she helped about three to four kids already," Jennifer said. "It was a very hard decision, but I'm glad three to four other kids are living because of my daughter."
Jennifer didn't want to answer questions about whether there was previous abuse in the home or of any red flags before Olivia's death.
Police records indicate Edwards told them he had been the children's only caregiver since January 2.
Edwards is also charged with causing an injury to his biological 6-month-old child who was also in the home. The baby boy had a bite mark on his left cheek. A 3-year-old girl was unharmed. The two surviving children are in CPS custody.
An affidavit says Edwards' explanation for the bite mark was "because that is what you do to kids because they're so cute." But detectives say his story kept changing.
"Fairly quickly, the officers grew suspicious because his story didn't quite seem to make sense for the severity of the injuries," explained Officer James McClellan.
Jennifer says she was out of town for work and Edwards, her live-in boyfriend, was caring for the children.
“She was the most sweetest, smart, beautiful little girl I have ever seen in my life,” Jennifer said. "I'm grateful I did at least get to spend some time with her."
“As a family, we want justice for Olivia,” said Karen Cangemi, Olivia’s grandmother. “My daughter has two other children, a 3-month-old and a 6-month-old child, who are now without their sister.”
CPS says it has no record of previous contact with the family.
Irving police say they were called to the home sometime before Christmas on a domestic-violence complaint. Edwards was accused of scratching Jennifer, but police didn't note that any children were involved.
Edwards is charged with serious bodily injury for cases involving both children. The charge involving Olivia is likely to upgrade to homicide. Edward's bond is set at a total of $125,000.
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