Jacksonville man faces murder charge in death of infant daughter

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A Jacksonville man facing a murder charge in the death of his infant daughter made his first court appearance Thursday.

Zachary Littell, 25, was charged Wednesday with one open count of murder.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Denise Drive to the report of a child not breathing on January 3.

When deputies arrived, seven-week-old Harper Littell was being treated by EMS.

The baby girl was taken to Onslow Memorial Hospital and then to Vidant Medical Center where she died on January 5 after being removed from life support.

Zachary Littell told investigators the baby girl fell from a portable baby bathtub when he left her unattended.

Medical providers observed swollen areas on both sides of Harper’s head as well as bruises around her lips and the back of her head.

An autopsy was completed, and the medical examiner found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.

They ruled the death as a homicide.

The injuries were not consistent with the fall described by Littell, deputies said.

Littell is being held in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Detention Center under no bond.

His next court date is February 15.

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