Updated: 07/30/2014 10:44 PM
Created: 07/30/2014 2:49 PM WDIO.com
Duluth police officers have arrested a man in the death of his 14-month-old daughter.
Police say the girl was already dead when officers arrived at a residence in the 700 block of North 9th Ave. East at around noon on Sunday, July 6. They had received a medical call from Peterson about the baby not breathing. The baby's mother was also there at the time of the 9-1-1 call, according to police.
The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's Office determined the manner of death was homicide by suffocation. The arrest came more than three weeks after the incident.
"Investigations take a long time," Deputy Chief Ann Clancey, with the Duluth Police Department, said. "We want to make sure that we are thorough."
The baby's father, 29-year-old Christopher Dennis Peterson, was arrested Wednesday morning and has been charged with unintentional second-degree murder. The Saint Louis County Attorney explained the charge Wednesday.
"This is an offense called felony murder," County Attorney Mark Rubin said. "While committing a felony, you caused the death whether you intended to or not."
Peterson is the sole suspect in this case.
The criminal complaint said that Peterson made a statement to law enforcement, that he would frequently become frustrated with the baby's crying, and in order to stop her from fussing, he would suffocate her by placing his hand over her mouth and pinching her nostrils closed until she stopped.
According to the complaint, he also told police that he'd done this 5 or 6 times in the past as well at the night before the baby was found dead.
Peterson indicated to police that he did not intend for the baby to die, noting that when he did this in the past, she would always start breathing again.
"It's a very tragic situation and extremely tragic for one family member to be responsible for the death of another," Clancey said.
Rubin said there's a chance Peterson could face a more severe charge if evidence merits it. That would require a grand jury.
Rubin also said Peterson has a lengthy criminal record including domestic assault and escaping custody.
Peterson will be in court Thursday.
Spectators Witness Athlete Triumph at Cable IPC Championships
Competition got underway Saturday morning in Cable, Wisconsin for the International Paralympic Committee World Championships starting with the standing and visually impaired biathlon...
Rep. Nolan Discusses Discusses Tariffs Against International Solar Panels
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decided to sign off on tariffs against solar panels from China and Taiwan. The big debate stemmed from the cheap, subsidized products that injured U.S. solar manufactures including silicon energy in Mountain Iron.
Duluth Celebrates Winter Milestones with Spirit Mountain Rail Jam
A weekend of winter fun celebrated several milestones in Duluth. This year marks a combined 100 years of snow sports in Duluth with Spirit Mountain just passing its 40th birthday and the Ski Hut celebrating 60 years of service.
Michigan Officials: New Cases of White-Nose Syndrome in Bats Found
State officials say they've received the first reports this winter of Michigan bats dying from white-nose syndrome. Dead bats have been found outside an abandoned copper mine near Mohawk in the Upper Peninsula's Keweenaw County.
Wisconsin Mine Protester Gets Nine Months in Jail
A woman accused of disrupting mine workers in northern Wisconsin as she protested Gogebic Taconite's mining plans has been sentenced to nine months in jail.