Teen Father Charged With Murder in Death of His 8-Month-Old Baby

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  A teen father faces first degree murder charges after police say he beat his eight-month-old daughter to death.

According to Des Moines Police, 17-year-old Jayden Straight turned himself in to police early Sunday morning. Along with the murder charge, the teen is also charged with child endangerment resulting in death. Police say he was the only person home with the child during the time-frame in which doctors believe the baby was injured. The baby’s mother and Straight’s mother are not part of the investigation.

Investigators say Straight took baby Raija to the hospital on Friday afternoon. Medical staff alerted police immediately, believing the child had been abused. The child died Saturday evening from internal and traumatic injures to the head.

Des Moines Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Paul Parizek says these types of incidents take a toll on detectives.

“These are probably some of the worst that we have to investigate,” he says. “A lot of us  are parents. You have to put on your professional hat to work through these things, and at the end of it is when you start feeling the weight.”

Straight made his first appearance in court on Sunday. He is being tried as an adult.