A man from Gary was charged on September 15 with beating his 18-month-old daughter.

Casey Lee Marqui Burnett, 22, was charged with m*rder, beating for a Level 1 offense and a Level 1 negligence for a dependent that ended in d*ath, according to court records. Burnett is in the Lake County Jail on bail, the data says. The statement on probable cause says his daughter, Kylee Burnett, died from injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The charges came shortly after Burnett was charged with aggravated battery and neglect of a subsidiary, which resulted in serious personal injury, both of the Level 3 offenses. According to court records, these charges are still pending.

The victim’s mother, according to a statement on the likely cause, told police that she went to work around 8:45 pm after picking up Burnett and another relative from work around 8pm on Friday, September 9. She left work early, at midnight on September 10, because she was not well, the recordings say.

She went to the victim’s bedroom and found her lying face down in a pillow with blankets completely covering her in the crib, says the statement. The child did not respond, she told the police, did not respond.

After they called 911 and Burnett tried to perform CPR, the mother and another relative went to the Methodist Hospital Northlake campus in Gary, but alerted the Gary fire doctor before they got there. Doctors took the child to hospital, where he was later transferred to Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Doctors at Comer Children’s Hospital said the girl suffered “severe hypoxia and herniation of the brain, extensive retinal hemorrhages, and lacerations to the liver and spleen,” the statement said. A report by the Cook County Examiners’ Bureau of Examiners stated that she was pronounced dead on September 14 at 2:30 PM in hospital.

When questioned by police, according to the file, Burnett told them that after he and his relative were “chilling” by smoking a joint, he gave her and the other children melatonin under his care at around 11 p.m. to help them fall asleep. He told authorities that he had put his daughter on her stomach and covered her halfway with a blanket while his son played with a relative’s cell phone.

Burnett said he went downstairs but came back about five minutes later to check on the kids after he heard something upstairs. He found his daughter got out of bed, so he put her back to bed, laying her flat on her stomach, half-covering her, he told police.

In the face of his daughter’s d*ath, Burnett repeatedly said that he had not injured her and thought they might have happened while he was performing CPR on her. He did not, however, submit to computerized analysis of voice stress because “he was not in the proper state of mind to participate.”

Michelle L. Quinn is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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