SNELLVILLE, Ga. – An 8-month-old baby girl died after her father left the child in his vehicle while he wound up getting arrested inside the Snellville Police Department in Georgia, authorities said.
Davied Japez McCorry Whatley, 20, arrived inside the lobby of the department around 2:17 p.m. on Tuesday, the police agency said in a press release.
Whatley was at the police department to meet with the property custodian in order to retrieve a gun that had been confiscated. However, police discovered an arrest warrant for a probation violation and took him into custody, Yahoo News reported.
Following his arrest, Whatley was subsequently transported to Gwinnett County Jail without incident.
Nearly seven hours later, at 9 p.m., an 8-month-old was brought to Piedmont Eastside Emergency Room by her grandmother. She said the child — Whatley’s daughter — had been left in a car, allegedly following a car stop. Medical staff pronounced the baby dead.
Hospital officials notified a Snellville police sergeant working overtime at the facility about the circumstances.
Police located Whatley’s 2007 Mazda 3 parked in a lot at Snellville City Hall, which is close to the police department.
Law enforcement authorities said Whatley’s entire interaction at the police station were recorded on bodycam. He never said anything about his toddler being left in the car, the news outlet reported.
Nova Grace Whatley-Trejo died after being abandoned in her father’s car. (Courtesy of the family via FOX 5 Atlanta)
“I’m absolutely astounded someone could leave an 8-month-old in the car, park away from our building and walk up here knowing that child was in the car,” Snellville Police Department Detective Jeff Manely said.
Whatley was released on bond related to his initial arrest for a probation violation, but law enforcement took him into custody Wednesday on second-degree murder charges. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said he will be booked in Gwinnett County Jail, again, on Wednesday afternoon, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
GBI will be the lead agency in the homicide investigation at the request of the Snellville Police Department.