Father smothers two-month-old girl to death and then tries to revive the toddler by electrifying her
Tyler Buchanan, 19, was charged with capital murder for the death of his two-month-old daughter, Paisley, on June 12 after he admitted smothering the toddler
Law enforcement authorities reported that a young father in Arkansas tried to revive his infant daughter by shocking her with an electrified extension cord after smothering her to stop her from crying. On Monday, 19-year-old Tyler Buchanan was charged with capital murder for the death of his 2-month-old daughter, Paisley, on June 12. According to court documents obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, he admitted smothering the toddler in the middle of the night as her mother slept, after previously telling investigators the baby awoke at about 5:30 am and that he fed her a bottle and she went back to sleep.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Buchanan confessed that he cut off the end of a live extension cord in a desperate attempt to resuscitate his daughter after originally telling police that he woke to find her motionless.
However, he later confessed that as the girl was screaming relentlessly and he wanted to sleep. Buchanan held the girl's head against his shoulder to stop her from breathing. The affidavit indicates that he told officers he knew his actions were wrong.
The affidavit also states that the father then took active steps to hide his crime, including not notifying the baby's mom that lived in the same home.
Buchanan further confessed that he did not call the police after smothering his daughter at about 2 am. According to the affidavit, about seven hours later, the baby's mother woke up to find Buchanan holding the girl and telling her she had not been breathing, and subsequently called the cops to 1112 Baldwin St.
The girl was immediately rushed by medical personnel to Sparks Hospital in Van Buren where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
According to KFSM, Buchanan could face either the death penalty or life imprisonment if convicted of capital murder. The father, who was scheduled to appear in a Crawford County courtroom on Wednesday, is currently being held at the Crawford County Detention Center in lieu of a $1 million bond. Court records show a public defender was appointed to represent him.
He was previously arrested in June on first-degree murder charges.
Police said the baby had been deceased for several hours before they were contacted.
Van Buren police Detective Jonathan Wear told the station that “the evidence is showing us that she was actually smothered sometime in the middle of the night."
Buchanan had seemingly embraced being the proud father of the young tot, according to a neighbor who spoke to the station.
“He loved the baby,” neighbor Tricia Dewberry told KFSM. “He did talk … and he said the baby was a gifted baby, an advanced baby. He showed the baby off and let me play and hold the baby.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up by the baby's family to help raise the mother's two other children and has raised more than $800 in memory of little Paisley.
“The funeral expenses have been taken care of and we would like to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for the donations,” the website reads. “The mother and family will be moving to a new home and we would like to continue to help the family by easing the financial burden that comes with moving.”
Back in December, Buchanan was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, breaking and entering and theft of property, and six counts of theft of property by credit or debit card, according to court records.
Just a couple of weeks back, authorities in Texas were investigating the death of a 10-year-old whose parents say she was electrocuted while rescuing kittens from behind a clothes dryer.
Shelby Roos, the mother of Greenlee Marie, told KSLA: "She's a beautiful soul. She had more compassion in her at 10 years old than most adults do in their entire lifetime. She loved her babies and she would do anything for them."
According to a GoFundMe page set up by her family, Greenlee loved animals to such an extent that she wanted to become a veterinarian.
Meanwhile, police are still investigating why the girl was electrocuted, with Chief Gary McCrary saying it's too early to place blame.
"Apparently this residence had some electrical issues in the past according to some reports and statements that have been made," McCrary said.
According to KSLA, the family has been renting out the house for over 15 months. "Landlords need to be held accountable for the conditions of the homes that they let people live in," Roos said. "And all we want is a voice for our daughter that left us over a senseless act."
Greenlee's bereaved family is now collecting donations in her honor for helping with local animal rescue efforts. "It was something even at 10 years old she was so passionate about," her mother said. "I want to honor her that way."