‘More than an accidental fall’: Father of baby who died in 2018 charged with murder

Father told deputies he accidentally dropped the baby, but deputies say the child was beaten to death.

A 30-year-old man whose infant son died in November 2018 in Deltona was arrested on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse, the Volusa County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Emmanuelle Vazquez was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday and arrested in Orlando shortly thereafter.

Investigators said Julius “J.J.” Vazquez was a week shy of turning 3 months old when deputies were called to his Grayton Street home Nov. 14, 2018, after he was not breathing.

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Officials said a detective who was in the area heard the call go out on the radio, arrived at the home within 3 minutes and immediately performed CPR on the boy until paramedics arrived.

Julius was taken to Halifax Health in Deltona before being flown to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. He died the next day.

Investigators said an autopsy determined that the boy had severe internal injuries to his head and torso and that his death was a homicide by blunt force.

“After initially denying any knowledge of how J.J. was injured, his father, Vazquez, eventually gave an account admitting he’d accidentally dropped J.J. head first onto the ground in the back yard,” said Andrew Gant, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “A lengthy investigation into the case revealed evidence that J.J.’s injuries were caused by more than an accidental fall.”

The detective who performed CPR on Julius arrested Vazquez, Gant said.

Vazquez is being held without bail at the Orange County Jail.

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