Warrant offers disturbing new details in baby abuse death

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by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 23 at 6:51 PM

HIGHLAND PARK — A search warrant released Monday offers more insight into the type of abuse a four-month-old Highland Park infant endured before he died earlier this month.

Four-month-old Harrison Rothermel, who had Down syndrome, was brought to Children's Medical Center last Sunday by his father.

Louis Rothermel had been caring for Harrison and his four-year-old brother alone, while his wife was out of town.

According to the search warrant, hospital staff had tried to revive Harrison for 45 minutes after his father brought him in unresponsive in a car seat.

According to the affidavit, hospital staff observed bruising on the child's head, face and abdomen. His abdomen was also hard and there was a blood blister on his right toe.

Doctors ordered a rape kit for the baby due to some other disturbing physical trauma.

Child Protective Services had investigated the family after Harrison Rothermel was diagnosed with a skull fracture a month after being born.

Highland Park police are investigating the infant's death as a capital murder case. But the named suspect in this case, Louis Rothermel, committed suicide three days after bringing his injured infant son to the hospital, meaning the reason for the abuse and murder may forever remain a disturbing mystery.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

 

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