A father has been charged with murder in the Oct. 30 death of his 7-week-old daughter whose five donated organs kept 3-year-old Tabatha Foster alive for six months.
Earl Franklin Shirks, 44, of Pennington Gap, was arrested late Thursday and jailed without bond in the death of Heather Renee Orick, said Lee County Sheriff Robert Chadwell.Shirks had told authorities at the time that she was injured in an auto accident.
Chadwell declined to reveal the cause of the girl's death.
Heather's liver, pancreas and parts of her stomach, small intestine and colon were donated to Tabatha, a Madisonville, Ky., toddler whose five-organ transplant in Pittsburgh received national attention. She died Wednesday.
Shirks took his daughter to Lee County Community Hospital on Oct. 8. The child died 22 days later at Children's Hospital at Fort Sanders Hospital in Knoxville.
In an interview after his daughter's organs were donated, Shirks said Heather was in a little seat on the console of his car when he slammed on the brakes to avoid another vehicle. He said she struck her head on the gear shift.