Santa Monica police detectives have arrested and booked a 33-year-old man in connection with the murder of his two-month-old stepdaughter who medical specialists say had injuries consistent with “shaken baby syndrome,” police said.
Donald Hillman was arrested by detectives in North Hollywood at 3:30 p.m. Monday, December 7th for his alleged involvement in an incident that occurred at his home in the 1000 block of 12th Street in Santa Monica in early October, Sgt. Jay Trisler said.
Hillman reportedly went to a local hospital at 12:30 a.m. October 4th where he brought his stepdaughter who was in full cardiac arrest and not breathing, Trisler said. Emergency room staff were able to resuscitate the infant twice and placed her on a ventilator.
Hillman had reportedly been taking care of the infant at the time of the incident and her mother was not at the residence, Trisler said.
After initial examination by a medical specialist determined that the infant’s injuries were consistent with a shaking attack known as “shaken baby syndrome,” the Santa Monica Police Department and Department of Children and Family Services were notified, Trisler said.
The infant was taken off of life support per a court order and pronounced dead November 22nd, police said.
An autopsy conducted by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office November 25th found evidence consistent with the previous medical findings and the coroner classified the case as a homicide, Trisler said.
A subsequent investigation led detectives to the suspect’s location in North Hollywood, where he was arrested. Hillman is currently in police custody on $1 million bail, Trisler said.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Santa Monica Det. Michael Bambrick at (310) 458-8932, Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959, or (310) 458-8495.