Father charged after 4-month-old dies in South Bend

(Provided Photo/WSBT)
(Provided Photo/WSBT)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WISH) – A South Bend father has been charged with felony neglect of a dependent after his 4-month-old baby died Saturday morning.

A news release from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office says Halo Stutzman’s death “is associated with oxygen deprivation to the brain.” The infant was on life support, but died around 10 a.m. Saturday.

Halo’s father, Bryan Michel, 22, is in St. Joseph County Jail with bond set at $100,000 cash or $1 million corporate surety.

(Provided Photo/WSBT)
(Bryan Michel/Provided Photo WSBT)

Court documents say Michel did not get medical attention for his daughter when she needed it. Documents state Halo had skull fractures, a massive brain injury, bruising on her body and bleeding behind the eyes.

Halo’s parents called 911 on July 10 because she was not breathing. Responders to the home in the 1400 block of E. Dubail Ave. in South Bend were able to revive her and rush her to Memorial Hospital.

According to the court documents, Michel gave investigators at least two different stories about how she got hurt — that one of their other children dropped the baby and that he accidentally fell on her while giving her a bath.

Other than a March 2014 arrest for not paying child support, Michel’s criminal record in St. Joseph County came up clean. According to jail records, he paid $2,000 and bonded out shortly after he was arrested.

Investigators booked Michel on a preliminary charge of Neglect of a Dependent but the prosecutor had not filed formal charges against him by the end of the day Friday. Legally, prosecutors have a 48-hour window to do that after arresting a suspect.

Since the infant has died, prosecutors said Michel has now been formally charged.

Doctors are hoping to schedule an autopsy for Monday.

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