Austin Stevens, 29, spent nearly an hour online searching for details related to the crime Saturday night, with searches reportedly including, “What if you don’t hear baby heart or beat,” “If baby stop breathing,” and “My baby isn’t breathing,” the
New York Daily News reported.
reported that first responders were dispatched to the home at 10:40 p.m. Saturday to respond to the father’s delayed 911 call about his unresponsive daughter.
Stevens’s daughter, Zara Scruggs, did not survive the rape and was pronounced dead at a hospital on Sunday shortly after midnight.
Police discovered a bloody diaper along with phone records as part of their investigation.
An autopsy later confirmed the infant had been brutally raped and suffered from blunt force trauma to her head and anal rectal trauma, according to a
statement from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
“This case is deeply disturbing,” District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. “It is hard to imagine this child’s death being any more traumatic: sexual assault on an infant, followed by inaction by the father to save her life, led to her death.”
Stevens was charged with multiple felonies, including rape of a child, aggravated assault, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Stevens is being held on $1 million bond and is set to appear in court next week.
Prosecutors said Stevens had sole custody of the infant under an agreement made with the infant’s mother.
The investigation is ongoing, and Stevens could face additional charges.