Father arrested in death of 1-month-old twin daughter

  PHOENIX - Police have arrested a Phoenix father on suspicion of first-degree murder in connection with the death of one of his 1-month-old twin girls. A judge imposed a bond of $1 million for 39-year-old Duryea Bennett during his initial court appearance on Thursday. Bennett was jailed on charges of murder and child abuse, a police spokesman said. Bennett was taken into custody Wednesday night after signs of trauma were found on the body of his daughter, Natalyah, after she was taken to a Phoenix hospital, where she died, Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said. Crump said hospital staff found numerous injuries, including bruises, a skull fracture, fractured ribs, bite marks and injuries consistent with sexual assault. Bennett told his 14-year-old son that the infant was not breathing and the teen called 911, reporting the infant had stopped breathing while she was in the bath at her home in the area of 43rd Avenue and Baseline Road about 1 p.m. Thursday, according to the police. Phoenix Fire Department officials said the girl, who was pronounced dead at the hospital just before 2 p.m. Thursday, was only 35 days old.
The victim is on the right in this photo, with her twin sister on the left.
The victim is on the right in this photo, with her twin sister on the left.
Investigators said the father was the only adult home with seven children. Bennett told police it was the first time he was alone with the twin infants. Bennett said he used force and hit the infant numerous times on the back and stomach in an attempt to stop her from choking on milk from an earlier feeding, the police report states. He also told police he bit his daughter in an attempt to revive her. "I only got to see both of them once since they been born," said JohnnieMae Stevenson, the baby's aunt. "The baby was choking. He turned her up. The baby threw up, and then he had put them in the bath and then went to go get a towel," Stevenson explained. "The next thing you know, the baby was not breathing." Next-door neighbor Jason Knight had arrived home about 3:30 p.m. and saw police with the father. "I seen the gentleman in the driveway," Knight said. "The cops had him in handcuffs, and the next thing you know, they put him in the back seat and hauled him off." Even though the father attempted CPR, police called the incident "suspicious" early in the investigation. "I was told that the baby had just stopped breathing and that the baby had bruises," Stevenson said. Everyone in her family, Stevenson said, is clueless as to why the newest member of her family is gone too soon. "He (the baby's father) was always loving and caring," Stevenson said. "So it would be a shocker if something did come and suspect that he did it." The baby's father is facing charges of murder and child abuse. The surviving twin girl is said to be doing just fine. Bennett has a criminal history with three prior felonies

About MimisThoughts

My close family call me Mimi, you will too. A 53 year old black female with many thoughts and opinions. I am vocal and passionate. I was raised old school and am proud to know most children that I had any influence over are carrying on the right way. 'Please, Thank You, Yes Ma'am, No Sir'. Divorced a couple times and no children of my own. I have lived a full and diverse life. Well educated and very liberal a Baptist raised in the church. I hope my posts, information, and opinions in my blog inspire you to open up a conversation. Pass along the usually hidden unheard of and unknown facts of how life is being lived today. Welcome to my thoughts....
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