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Man tries to smother baby with pillow, police say

By Pat Reavy | Posted - Jul 14th, 2013 @ 8:39pm

MIDVALE — A man accused of smothering a 6-month-old boy with a pillow has been arrested for investigation of attempted child abuse homicide.

In addition, Juan Manuel Duran, 44, was arrested Saturday for investigation of assault and domestic violence in the presence of a child.

The incident began Friday night at Duran's apartment, 7923 S. Main. He and his live-in girlfriend got into an argument and he pushed her, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the incident, he said.

The woman grabbed her 6-month-old son and left the apartment. The woman made sure her baby was safe with a friend and then walked to the Unified police station in Midvale.

There, she told detectives that Duran — who is not the boy's father — had assaulted her baby in the past, Hoyal said. She said at one point during their argument that night, her baby was crying upstairs in his room, and Duran said he would take care of him.

When the infant suddenly stopped crying, the mother went upstairs to see what was happening. She told police she walked in the bedroom to see Duran smothering the baby with a pillow, Hoyal said. Duran stopped when the woman walked in.

After hearing this, police investigators went back to the apartment complex to get the baby and take it to a local hospital. There, doctors determined there was bruising and cuts around his face consistent with a smothering injury, Hoyal said. The infant also had injuries consistent with child abuse in different stages of healing. The baby was last reported to be in serious condition, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Duran was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. Detectives were expected to continue their investigation Monday to determine if Duran is responsible for any of the infant's old injuries.

Pat Reavy

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