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Man investigated in death of West Valley City infant

Published: Thursday, Sept. 27 2012 4:23 p.m. MDT

WEST VALLEY CITY — The former boyfriend of a West Valley City woman is being investigated in the death of the woman's 6-month-old son, according to newly released court documents.

On May 26, police were called to a residence at 4019 S. 4275 West on a report of an infant with a breathing problem, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court. When police arrived, the boy was unresponsive.

The infant was declared brain dead at Primary Children's Medical Center and died May 30 after being taken off life support, according to the search warrant. An autopsy concluded the cause of death was undetermined, but "was not the result of SIDS," court records state.

Reed Wilcox had been watching the child while the mother slept in an adjacent room. He claimed he had laid the baby down on a blanket on the floor for a nap. His story, however, had inconsistencies, according to the warrant.

On July 25, after several interviews with police in which he denied knowing what happened to the boy, Wilcox admitted to investigators that he had found the infant face down on a sofa after falling asleep.

It was undetermined Thursday whether the infant was accidentally smothered while still in Wilcox's arms or when he was placed on the sofa.

Wilcox told police he had gotten very little sleep the night before and didn't really want to watch the infant, but did so in an attempt to rekindle his relationship with the boy's mother.

He told police he initially lied to them because "he was scared that he was going to be arrested and booked into jail for not paying attention to (the infant)," according to the warrant.

Police also found on Wilcox's laptop that he had been doing Web searches on SIDS, strangulation and "what to do when interviewed by police detectives," according to the warrant. He told investigators he had researched those items "so that he could prepare for what was going to happen when the police came to interview him about (the infant's) death."

"Mr. Wilcox … stated that he is not a bad person or monster and that he was unable to put into words what had actually happened to (the infant)," according to court documents.

During subsequent interviews with detectives, Wilcox made statements such as, "I didn't kill him," "I can't even forgive myself about this. I haven't been able to sleep through the night and it still affects me every day," "I just thought he was sleeping. … I wasn't checking. I just wasn't checking, detective," "I wasn't, you know, hurting him intentionally, absolutely not," and that he, "felt like an absolute coward," the search warrant stated.

West Valley City police declined comment Thursday, saying the case was still under investigation. The search warrant was for the sofa in Wilcox's apartment where the infant was allegedly found face down. It was signed by a judge on Aug. 1. It was released to the public this week.

As of Thursday, Wilcox had not been charged.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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