Baby Dies in Van Buren, Teen Father Arrested

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VAN BUREN, Ark. – An 19-year-old has been arrested in connection to the death of his 2-month-old daughter.

Van Buren Police (VBPD) arrested Tyler Buchanan on Tuesday near the 1100 block of Baldwin Street.

According to a police report, officers were called around 9 a.m. to the home regarding an unresponsive infant. 

VBPD says the child was immediately taken to Sparks Hospital in Van Buren, and was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Officers believe that the victim was killed by Buchanan early in the morning, and that he waited until 9 a.m. to call for help. VBPD says in a news release that the victim had been deceased for several hours before police were contacted.

In a probable cause affidavit released by police on Wednesday, Buchanan said that the child woke up at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, and he gave her a bottle and put her back to sleep. He said that he later discovered that the baby was not breathing and attempted to shock the child’s heart using an extension cord that was cut. Buchanan later admitted to holding the child’s head to his shoulder to stop her from breathing. He told police that the child was screaming and he tried to stop the baby from screaming so he could sleep. 

According to the probable cause affidavit, Buchanan actively tried to cover up the baby’s death, including not telling the mother, who lived in the same house. He also admitted he knew the baby stopped breathing at 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Buchanan has been charged with First Degree Murder and is being held at the Crawford County Detention Center with no bond. 

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