PROVO — A 4-month-old baby who police say was severely abused by her father has died.

The child's father, 22-year-old Victor Gardea, was arrested Monday after police responded to a 911 call at his home that his daughter wasn't breathing.

She was rushed by paramedics to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, but when she couldn't maintain breathing on her own, she was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center, police said.

The medical center informed Provo police Thursday morning that the official time of death for the child was Tuesday at 1 p.m., said Provo Police Capt. Cliff Argyle.

An autopsy was scheduled for the child, Argyle said, and the Utah County Attorney's Office will review the case again to see if additional charges should be filed.

Gardea was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of aggravated child abuse, and bail was set at $50,000 cash only, although he is ineligible for release due to an immigration hold.

The child's mother was not at home at the time of the incident and will keep custody of her other child, a 2-year-old son, Argyle said.

Police say Gardea told investigators he woke up from a nap and found his daughter turning blue.

However, doctors at the hospitals noted that the child had internal injuries, swelling and bleeding of the brain and broken ribs, which pointed to abuse and indicated the child had been shaken.

The father also told police that the child had fallen off the dryer and that he had squeezed her and thrown her into her crib, according to a probable cause statement filed in 4th District Court.


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