A man in Mississippi has been charged with capital murder in connection with the brutal fatal beating of a 3-year-old girl, reported WTOK.
Joshua Salovich was arrested in Meridian on Saturday by police officers who initially charged him with felony child abuse for the beating of Bailey Salovich. However, Joshua confessed to detectives that the hit Bailey with a bamboo stick and phone cord when he was teaching her numbers.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose said Joshua was very honest about the situation.
"This was a tough world and she had to be tough if she wanted to survive," Joshua told investigators, according to Dubose.
Dubose said Salovich told police that he was asking the toddler questions about numbers and would "pop" her when she answered incorrectly. Salovich admitted he had done this before and he used a bamboo rod until it broke. He then switched to a cellphone cord for the blows.
"He did state that on that day, the child was giving an unusual amount of incorrect answers," Dubose told the Clarion-Ledger.
The girl was later taken by helicopter to a Jackson hospital for treatment, where she died Saturday afternoon, Dubose said. According to police, the toddler's injuries included bleeding in the brain and lungs, and possible retinal detachment. Police are awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death.
When investigators asked Salovich how hard he had hit the child, on a scale of 1 to 10 — 1 being a tap and 10 being as hard as he could — he "rated them all 10s, with no hesitation," Dubose said.
Detectives testify the child wet her pants after being hit and that Salovich began to punish her for that with more beatings. Police said the mother was in another room with the door closed and the TV on at the time of the incident.
“If the mother had been present in the same room when this incident occurred, or has knowledge that it was occurring, then there may have been charges,” Dubose said.
Salovich is not the biological father to the child, but is on the birth certificate, according to detectives.
Joshua was held without bail and could face the death penalty.
(Photo: ABC 11)
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