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Utah Father Charged with Murder After 3-Month-Old Baby Dies; Mother Charged with Obstructing Justice

The baby's father allegedly told police his daughter fell off the bed, court documents state

<p>Paula Quijano/GoFundMe</p> Dariana Gonzalez Samano

Paula Quijano/GoFundMe

Dariana Gonzalez Samano

A young Utah father who felt “desperate for a way to calm” his baby girl because she wouldn’t stop crying is now charged with her murder, say authorities.

Israel Levi Gonzalez Gomez, 21, was charged with one count of first-degree felony murder, child abuse with injury and child abuse homicide in connection with the Feb. 22 death of his 3-month-old daughter, online jail records reviewed by PEOPLE show.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill identified the baby in a statement as Dariana Gonzalez-Samano. The baby’s mother, Andrea Samano Galeana, 20, is charged with second-degree felony obstructing justice, Gill said.

The alleged crime came to light on February 19, when the baby was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, police said in charging documents reviewed by PEOPLE.

Dariana suffered three cardiac arrests before arriving at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, police said in the documents.

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A CT scan revealed that Dariana suffered from retinal hemorrhages, a traumatic cataract and brain bleeding. The father allegedly told a detective that Dariana cried “excessively for the first few weeks of her life,” the documents state.

He “described feeling desperate for a way to calm Dariana down,” according to the documents. Gomez stated that on the night of the alleged incident, he and the baby’s mother gave the baby a bath in a small tub and put her to bed.

Throughout the evening, the baby continued to cry, no matter what the parents did to soothe her, Gomez said, per the documents.

Gomez “stated that he lightly spanked Dariana as his sister had recommended,” the documents state.

Gomez stated that he was bouncing Dariana who fell asleep as the baby’s mother came into the room.

“At this point, Dariana went limp and pale,” and he and the baby’s mother rushed her to the hospital.

Gomez requested a second interview with detectives because he said there was “something missing from the story and he wanted to tell the truth,” the documents state.

On Feb. 26, he told detectives that Dariana fell off the bed while he was changing her, leaving her face red and swollen. She fell asleep and when he went to put her in her crib, she went limp, the documents state.

When he placed her on the bed, her heart stopped beating, he said, the documents state. Blood came out of her nose when they performed CPR on her, according to the documents.

The baby’s mother, Galeana, told detectives she asked Gomez to “stop grabbing my baby so roughly,” the documents state.

She said she texted Gomez and said it looked like the baby had been hit. According to her, he allegedly replied, “If I would have hit her, trust me, she would not stop bleeding,” the documents state.

Galeana allegedly failed to tell doctors that the baby had been injured before, including suffering from a black eye in January and a torn piece of tissue under the upper lip, court documents state.

Gomez and Galeana are being held at the Salt Lake County Jail, according to online jail records. It is unclear whether they have retained attorneys who can speak on their behalf.

As authorities continue to investigate, the little girl’s family is mourning her loss.

In a GoFundMe post set up to help defray funeral costs, Dariana’s grandmother, only identified as Elizabeth, wrote, “Dariana unfortunately passed away from a brain hemorrhage at just 3 month[s] old.

“In such a short time she gave us so many moments of joy and beautiful memories.

“We are asking for your help to give her a proper burial as this was so sudden and only my daughter and I are able to take care of all the arrangements at the moment. Any help given is greatly appreciated and received with so much gratitude. Thank you and God bless you.”

The district attorney offered his condolences for the baby’s death in his statement.

“We mourn the death of Dariana, whose life had just begun,” Gill said.

“It is critical that we vigilantly look out for the welfare of our community’s children,” he added. “If you see signs that may indicate harm being done to a child, please report your concerns to law enforcement so they can be investigated and the child may get the help they deserve.”

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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Read the original article on People.