Mother's boyfriend arrested in death of 3-year-old girl

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Andres Venegas Andres Venegas

A 3-year-old Phoenix girl is dead and the boyfriend of the girl's mother is facing first-degree murder charges.

The suspect, Andres Venegas, called 911 on Monday reporting the 3-year-old girl had fallen off the counter in the bathroom and landed on the carpet, striking her head and back.

She was taken to the hospital with severe brain injuries and later died.

The initial investigation deemed the injury as accidental.

But the Office of Child Welfare Investigations contacted homicide detectives on Tuesday reporting that the injuries did not match with a less than 3-foot fall.

The detectives found that the physicians who cared for the girl were "highly suspicious" of her trauma, according to the police report.

Police interviewed the girl's 8-year-old sister who said she was eating lunch with Venegas and her 3-year-old sister when Venegas got angry at her sister for not eating her hamburger fast enough.

The 8-year-old said Venegas took the girl into the master bathroom where she heard "three very loud sounds similar to someone being stuck," according to the police report.

The 8-year-old said her sister screamed as if she had been stabbed and then Venegas returned to the kitchen carrying the girl and told a 911 operator that the girl had fallen from the bathroom counter.

The 8-year-old told police that she feared if she said anything, Venegas would go to jail and she would get in trouble, the police report states.

Police interviewed Venegas who said he placed the girl standing on the counter top and moved toward the shower to put baby powder down his pants when she allegedly fell backwards off the counter onto the hardwood floor.

Police said there were several variances in Venegas' accounts of what happened. He denied striking the 3-year-old.

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