Man faces child abuse charges after girlfriend's son dies

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Robert Reynolds By Jennifer Thomas Robert Reynolds By Jennifer Thomas
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tempe police have arrested a man on child abuse charges after his girlfriend's 14-month-old son died Sunday.

Tempe Police and Fire responded to a 911 call of a baby not breathing at a residence near McClintock Drive and Apache Boulevard. Paramedics began treating the child and transported him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police spokesman Lt. Mike Pooley said the toddler had obvious signs of trauma to his head and body, including a fractured arm.

"Everything indicated that Mr. Reynolds was the cause of that," Pooley said.

Detectives said the boy's mother went to work that morning and left her son with her boyfriend, Robert Reynolds, 29, and his two young children.

Reynolds initially told his girlfriend that the boy fell off the couch and hit his head earlier in the morning.

"He had sent a few messages to the mom stating that the baby had fallen and hit his head, that the baby was fine, everything was fine," Pooley said.

When the baby was found unresponsive later in the afternoon, Reynolds called his aunt requesting her help and did not want to call authorities, according to Pooley.

His aunt, who was in the area, called 911 and assisted with CPR until paramedics arrived.

At this time, Reynolds has been charged with three counts of child abuse. Police said more charges are possible after the cause of death is determined.

Police are working with the Office of Child Welfare Investigations and the Medical Examiner's Office as they continue the investigation.

The manager of Baker's Acre Motel where Reynolds has been renting a room for about two years told 3TV off camera that he was shocked and devastated by the news. He said he never had any problems with Reynolds.

A small memorial consisting of candles, a pinwheel and a stuffed duck now sits outside the residence.

"This is a traumatic thing for the entire community," Pooley said. "Everybody feels the sense of this horrible act that happened."