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Father Faces Murder Charges In 6-Month-Old Daughter’s Shaking Death

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A 6-month-old baby girl dies in a severe case of child abuse. Now police say her father could face more serious charges.

Weijia Jiang has more on the investigation.

When that baby girl was in the hospital fighting for her life, her father was charged with attempted murder. Now that she’s lost the battle, police say he’ll be charged with murder.

A frantic 911 call brought police to the 1600-block of E. Cold Spring Lane.

“There were about four police cars just outside my house,” said Quan Williams, neighbor.

A 6-month-old baby girl had stopped breathing. Her father, 34-year-old Demante Palmer, made the call after he told police he violently shook the infant, named Olivia.

She had been in the hospital since last week but died from several injuries, including burns on her face and neck, a broken rib and bruising to her arm.

“It really makes me feel some type of way that he shook and killed a baby right down the street. What’s going on in the neighborhood?” Williams said.

Police say Palmer confessed to shaking Olivia because she wouldn’t stop crying. Doctors say this type of behavior happens a lot more than people may think.

“It’s just really scary for us as a culture to face up to the fact that we do this to our own children,” said Dr. Melissa Sparrow, GBMC.

She says in Baltimore this happens at least once a week.

Across the country, hundreds of babies die every year after they’re shaken. Researchers use high-tech dolls to warn parents of harmful effects, such as blindness and retardation.

“Do not think that just by shaking the baby a little bit, the baby is going to fall asleep. What you’re doing is brain damage,” Sparrow said.

Sparrow said the majority of shakers are males, though the men who live next door to Palmer can’t make sense of it.

“That’s what babies do. They cry. You feed a baby, it cries. A baby cries when it’s happy. It’s a baby. For God’s sake. That’s just disheartening,” said Terrence Lownes, neighbor.

Palmer is now in police custody, held without bond.

Olivia is the fifth juvenile killed in Baltimore this year. It’s the third case in which the child’s father has been charged.

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