Death of 8-month-old leads to Phoenix man's arrest

Death of 8-month-old leads to Phoenix man's arrest

Adrian Ponce

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by The Associated Press and azfamily.com

Video report by Steve Ryan

Posted on July 25, 2013 at 6:32 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 1 at 3:24 PM

Map: Near 29th Street & Greenway

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PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix police say a 21-year-old man has been arrested in the death of his girlfriend's 8-month-old daughter.

Officer James Holmes says Adrian Ponce faces nine felony counts of child abuse.

Sabrina Santos-Vasquez was pronounced dead at a hospital Wednesday after authorities received a call about a child not breathing.

According to Holmes, emergency room medical personnel found head injuries and burns on the child's body.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine exactly how the baby died.

Investigators obtained a warrant and searched family's apartment in the neighborhood just northwest of 29th Street and Greenway.

Holmes says Ponce, who is not the child's biological father, was arrested after being interviewed by detectives.

According to court documents, Ponce admitted burning Sabrina with a cigarette lighter and hours later shaking her in an attempt to quiet her when she was crying.

It's not immediately known if he has an attorney.

"This has been, and continues to be, a very in-depth investigation by Phoenix Police Homicide detectives," Holmes said in an email to media outlets Thursday morning. "There are many more questions to be answered. Further charges may be filed in the near future as a result of the on-going investigation."

A judge set a secured appearance bond for Ponce at $250,000, and scheduled a status conference for Aug. 1. Preliminary hearing will follow on Aug. 5.

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