PROVO A father has been arrested after police say he severely abused his 4-month-old daughter.
Victor Gardea, 22, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated child abuse Monday as his infant daughter remained in critical condition at Primary Children's Medical Center, according to a statement from Provo police.
Police were called to Gardea's home, near 800 South and Stubbs Avenue, about 10:45 a.m. Monday, police said. The child was lying on the floor, not breathing and without a pulse.
The arriving officer began CPR until paramedics arrived. While doing so, he noticed an open sore on the girl's left armpit.
The infant was taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where doctors found fingerprint bruising on the child's back. They also indicated that the open sore was probably a burn, several weeks old, police said
The child was stabilized but when she couldn't breathe on her own, she was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center.
Gardea told investigators he woke up from a nap and found his child turning blue, according to Provo police. But doctors at Primary said the girl had severe brain trauma, broken ribs and internal organ damage injuries consistent with shaken baby syndrome and severe physical abuse, police said.
The father also allegedly told police that the child had fallen off the dryer and that he had sqeezed her and thrown her into her crib, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Police said the girl's mother was not home at the time of the incident. The woman will keep custody of her 2-year-old son while police and the Department of Child and Family Services investigate the incident.
Gardea remains in jail on $50,000 cash-only bail, although he is ineligible for release because of an immigration hold.