CHARLESTON, WV (RNN) – An infant girl died Wednesday, succumbing to injuries from a sexual assault that the county sheriff called “the most severe” he’d ever seen.
(WARNING: The following story contains graphic details that may be disturbing. Read at your own discretion.)
Family members told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that doctors pronounced the infant brain-dead Tuesday, and she was taken off life support on Wednesday.
Benjamin Taylor, 32, was taken into custody and charged with the attack. He is the boyfriend of the child’s mother. Taylor is charged with first-degree sexual assault, but Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs said the charges will be upgraded to murder.
“I’ve been here 25 years and we’ve never encountered something of this nature,” Boggs said. “I don’t know if we’ve had anything like this near here.”
The mother, Amanda Adkins, woke up early Monday morning and found the baby unresponsive on her basement floor. Taylor claimed he “blacked out” after taking the child downstairs to do laundry.
Police found bloody blankets and clothing in the basement.
In addition to injuries sustained from a violent sexual assault, the baby suffered extensive bleeding and strikes to her face.
According to Atkins’ family, she and Taylor had only dated a short time.
Atkins moved with her four children to West Virginia from Maryland, according to the Gazette-Mail, for a fresh start. The three other children are safe and were unharmed.