CRIME

Detroit dad cleared of sexually assaulting, murdering 8-month-old daughter

A Detroit man initially accused of sexually assaulting and murdering his baby daughter in April was cleared of the charges last week after an investigation found he actually smothered her on accident.

James Saltmarshall, 22, was accused of murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree child abuse in the death of his 8-month-old daughter, Janiyah, at a hotel in suburban Inkster, Mich., Fox 2 reported.

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office conducted an investigation and found that the infant died of asphyxia and ruled the death an accident.

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Saltmarshall, who was being held on a $2 million bond, was released Thursday on house arrest.

Kym Worthy, a Wayne County prosecutor, initially said the girl was killed by head trauma and rectal tearing was also discovered on the infant, according to WXYZ.

A comprehensive investigation was carried out and found that the infant was sleeping next to her father on a large bed before he accidentally rolled onto his daughter, smothering her. When he woke up, he found her unresponsive and called emergency services.

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About 3,500 children die each year in the U.S. due to sleep-related incidents, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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