Lakewood Father, 36, Arrested In 'Shaken Baby Syndrome' Death Of 3-Month-Old Daughter

A 36-year-old man from Lakewood has been arrested in connection with the death of his infant daughter, who died of "shaken baby syndrome" on Tuesday, authorities said.

David Smith
David Smith Photo Credit: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

David Smith has been charged with murder, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer 

On Saturday, detectives from the Lakewood Township Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit responded to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood for a report of a 3-month-old girl purportedly found to be unresponsive by her father, David Smith, according to Billhimer.

Smith claimed that he immediately contacted 9-1-1 upon finding the infant unresponsive. The infant was initially taken to Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus by emergency medical service personnel and subsequently transferred to Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for further evaluation and treatment, the prosecutor said.

 An examination by doctors at RWJ revealed that the infant was suffering from significant internal injuries, Billhimer said.

Further investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit and Special Victims Unit, working with the Lakewood Township Police Department and Detective Bureau, determined that Smith was at home with the infant on Saturday when his daughter sustained her injuries.

On Tuesday, the infant succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Billhimer said.

On Wednesday, an autopsy by the Ocean County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be shaken baby syndrome with blunt force trauma to the head, and the manner of death to be homicide, the prosecutor said.

Smith was arrested at his residence in Lakewood on Wednesday. He is being held in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.

“The facts and circumstances uncovered in this investigation are beyond tragic. What happened to this innocent baby is disturbing,” Billhimer said. "Justice will be accomplished for this precious baby."

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