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Father Charged In Death Of 4-Month-Old

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Jonathan Ortiz has been charged in the death of his baby daughter. (South Chicago Heights Police Dept.)

Jonathan Ortiz has been charged in the death of his baby daughter. (South Chicago Heights Police Dept.)

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SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (STMW) — Police on Friday night announced charges against the father of a 4-month-old girl who was apparently shaken to death.

Jonathan Ortiz, 23, has been charged with murder after reports from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office and Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital determined that his daughter died from injuries sustained from child abuse, said South Chicago Heights Police Chief Bill Joyce.

Ortiz is scheduled to appear in bond court on Saturday, Joyce said.

Sophia Ortiz had been at a home in the 0-100 block of West 31st Street in South Chicago Heights on Monday before she was brought to the hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Police responded about 3 a.m. after the girl’s father called 911, saying the baby wasn’t breathing, Joyce said. The baby had been with her father at his home for approved visitation. The girl’s mother, who lives in Steger and has custody of the child, was not with them.

Responding paramedics were not able to detect the infant’s pulse and performed CPR all the way to St. James Hospital and Health Centers, Joyce said.

Staff there “did a remarkable job” and were able to get a pulse again, Joyce said, but she needed a respirator and was airlifted about two hours later to Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital at Christ Hospital.

Sophia, of the 0-100 block of 31st Street in Steger, was pronounced dead there at 8:55 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy Wednesday found that the girl suffered multiple injuries from child abuse and her death has been ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Her injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome, Joyce said.

“There’s absolutely nothing that a beautiful 4-month-old baby girl could do that could merit any kind of abuse, not even abuse to this level,” the police chief said Wednesday night.

DCFS is investigating an allegation of death by abuse against the child’s father, agency spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. DCFS has had no previous investigations involving the girl’s father and he had no other children in his care, Marlowe said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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