RICHLAND, Wash. — Detectives with the Richland Police Department arrested a 25-year-old man on October 28 to investigate a suspicious drowning at the WoodSpring Suites on Tapteal Drive. The man had found the 13-month-old child in his care facedown in the bathtub, according to RPD Detective Christian Jabri. The child was declared dead October 30.
The 25-year-old told first responders that he had placed the child in the bathtub, started the water, plugged the drain then walked away. He said he spent 10-15 minutes looking for accessories for the child’s bath, according to Jabri’s probable cause report.
Multiple people told investigators that they had seen the child in the hotel room alone, with no adult around. One such report came from a hotel employee, who reported going to the 25-year-old’s room to drop off a cleaning notice on October 28. They said no one answered the door after multiple knocks, despite crying coming from the inside, according to the probable cause document. The employee used a master key to conduct a welfare check, finding the 25-year-old asleep in bed and the child closed in the bathroom. They said they had to yell several times to get him up. Other reports recounted the 25-year-old yelling at the child while they cried, often talking aggressively.
The 25-year-old’s statements to medical staff and law enforcement have been inconsistent, according to Jabri’s report. He faces possible charges of first-degree domestic violence manslaughter. His bail was set at $50,000 on November 4, with arraignment scheduled for November 9.