SW Missouri Man Charged with Death of 4-Month Old Son

Published 02/20 2014 08:30AM

Updated 02/20 2014 09:33AM

PINEVILLE, Mo. -- A man from McDonald County is charged in the death of his 4-month-old son. If convicted of the crime, this man could face up to life in prison. He admitted to police he caused injuries that lead to the death of his baby.

Tyler Waeltz, 19, is being held at the McDonald County Jail on $50,000 cash-only bond.

The Pineville man is charged with child abuse. Authorities say they're not filing murder charges in this case because this child abuse charge carries a possible sentence of life in prison.

Monday, Waeltz called 9-1-1 reporting that his baby was not breathing and unresponsive. The child was then taken to Mercy Hospital in Rogers, and later flown to Arkansas children's hospital in Little Rock.

The four-month-old was being treated in the ICU, but passed away this afternoon around 1:35. When deputies responded to his home, located at 1869 Bear Hollow Road, they found bruising and marks on the child. Officials with the Mcdonald County Sheriff's Office say Waeltz was frustrated because he had just gotten into an argument over the phone with the boy's mother, who lives in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Authorities say Waeltz admitted to shaking the baby and throwing him into a playpen head-first. Waeltz then gave the child a bath and took him into the living room.

"He took him into the living room area, and threw him face first into the couch, when he did that, the baby's head struck a piece of wood, fracturing the skull and causing the brain to bleed," said David Roark, McDonald County Chief Deputy.

Waeltz's 14-month-old daughter was also in the house at the time of the incident, but was not injured. She was immediately taken into protective custody and is living in a foster home. Waeltz has no previous criminal history. Authorities say he's scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday.

(KODE, Joplin)

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