PROVO, Utah – A Provo man has been charged with child abuse homicide and obstructing justice after police said an infant was found in circumstances that were, “likely caused by inflicted injuries and child abuse.”
Cameron Willingham, 23, was charged Tuesday. According to a probable cause statement released in the Fourth Judicial Court of Utah County, Willingham was found alone with the unresponsive child on March 19.
“The child had bruising on the outside of the head, face, and eyes,” the probable cause statement said. “Initial evaluations showed severe trauma to the outside of the child’s head and bleeding in the child’s brain.”
The infant was taken to the Utah Valley Hospital, and was later flown to Primary Children’s Hospital by Life Flight.
Hospital staff at Primary Chidren’s told police they found severe trauma to the outside of the child’s head and bleeding in the child’s brain. The infant later died at the hospital after being on life support for 36 hours.
“The initial autopsy conducted on 03-21-2018 showed severe intracranial, brain, head, and spinal trauma to the child,” the statement said. “This included, according to the Medical Examiner, blunt trauma to the left, right, top, and back of head.”
Doctors stated that the effects of the injuries would have been immediately life-threatening, and would have, “promptly incapacitated the child.” They also indicated that the injuries were most likely inflicted by an individual near the time the child became unconscious.
When police first interviewed Willingham, he originally told them that he had caused no injuries to the child.
“Mr. Willingham also identified that, prior to finding the child unresponsive, he laid the baby on the couch, gave the baby a bottle with formula in an effort to stop the baby from ‘Freaking Out,’ and then he took a shower,” the probable cause statement said.
Later Willingham allegedly admitted to “tossing” the child onto a bed. Doctors informed police that the infant’s injuries were more likely caused by “severe shaking, multiple impacts to the head, and squeezing of the abdomen while injuries were inflicted upon the child.”
Willingham was booked into the Utah County Jail, where he was held on $250,000 cash-only bond.