Police: Man Had Been Baby-Sitting Girlfriend's DaughterJune 24, 2011
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. -- A Franklin County man has been arrested, accused of beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter to death.
Officers were called to the Big Cedar Trailer Court near Brookville on March 12 after the girl's mother said she came home from work to find her daughter, Sapphyre Putney, unresponsive in her bed.
The toddler was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Harrison, Ohio, where she was pronounced dead.
Final autopsy results recently released showed the child died of blunt-impact injuries to her abdomen resulting in a laceration to her small intestine and a pancreatic injury, police said.
Luis Antonio Gonzalez, 31, the live-in boyfriend of the girl's mother, had been baby-sitting the victim the night she died, police said.
He was arrested Thursday on preliminary charges of murder and battery resulting in death. He was being held Friday in the Hamilton County Detention Center in Cincinnati pending extradition back to Franklin County.
"She was just an innocent baby, so sweet," said Lisa Woods, victim's grandmother. "The kind of injury that she sustained was like falling from a second story window. That is not an accident."
Two-year-old Sapphyre Putney died back in March. Recently released autopsy results show she was beaten to death. Her mother is Woods' 23-year-old daughter McKenzie Simpson, who lives in Franklin County, Indiana.
Sapphyre was born with a rare genetic disorder; her right leg was only half as long as the other.
"She knew there was a difference in her, but she was never given the opportunity," said Woods. "It was taken from her."
On June 23, Simpson's live-in boyfriend, 31-year-old Luis Gonzalez, was arrested in Ohio for the toddler's murder.
"I love my daughter with all my heart, but she believes in her heart that her boyfriend had nothing to do with this," said Woods. "She has said it from the beginning that he's innocent."
Indiana State Police say Gonzalez was home babysitting Sapphyre while Simpson was at work, when she got home she found the child unresponsive in her bed.
"The arrest has been made, but I still have a lot of unanswered questions, I want to know what happened to my grandbaby," said Woods.
For now all Woods can do is think of the happier times while never letting her granddaughter's memory fade.
"The one thing I have is the peace of knowing where she's at," said Woods. "She'll never be hurt again."
Woods' two grandchildren are also Simpson's children. Woods' and her husband James are in the final stages of legally adopting both of them. As for Gonzalez, he is in the Hamilton County Jail in Cincinnati waiting on authorities to bring him back to Indiana.