A Florida father was charged in connection with the death of his 5-month-old daughter after admitting to fatally punching the girl on September 13.
Dekari Castell, 22, was charged with aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder for the killing of Kali Dream Castell.
At the time of the attack, Castell and family were staying at his mother’s Orlando residence after losing power during Hurricane Irma, reported Click Orlando. Kali’s mother found the girl in an abandoned house and called 911 after attempting CPR.
Kali was transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital where she was initially placed on life support and later pronounced dead.
During an initial interview with police, Castell claimed he dropped Kali on the back of her head after "she squirmed out of his grasp." However, his story sounded familiar to a past investigation of abuse, which led investigators to press for answers.
Almost a year ago, Castell was investigated by the Department of Children and Families because his 4-week-old son was hospitalized for a broken femur bone and Castell said his son “squirmed out of his grasp and fell.”
However, doctors determined the femur was likely broken through child abuse. Due to lack of probable cause, criminal charges were not filed against Castell.
Based on Kali’s brain scan, doctors believe the girl’s skull was depressed from a blow to the head, not a drop. Upon further questioning, Castell eventually admitted he punched his daughter in the head because he was "highly stressed" from the fact the family was without power and the baby would not stop crying.
TDCF released a statement to Click Orlando about the Kali's death:
"We continue to mourn the loss of Kali and are supporting all those who loved her in any way we can. DCF’s investigation into this tragedy is ongoing and we’re coordinating with law enforcement to hold anyone responsible fully accountable. DCF had no prior interaction with Kali or her mother. It is sickening that anyone would allegedly hurt an innocent child," the DCF said in the statement.
(Photo: Orange County Sheriff’s Office)