Hearing set for dad charged with abuse, murder in infant daughter’s death
Friday, March 2, 2012 | 10 a.m.
Justin Forsgren, 33, who also uses the last name Villanova, will have a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. March 14 before Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure, for the child abuse death of his 3-month-old daughter, Rayea Dawn Forsgren.
Forsgren was charged with one count of murder by child abuse and two counts of felony child abuse and neglect. He is being held without bail in the Clark County Detention Center.
Police said they responded about 11 p.m. Feb. 23 to Forsgren’s home, 3370 Swenson St., where they found the infant in distress. Rayea was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center but died the next day, police said.
The Clark County Coroner’s office has not yet ruled on a cause of death. Hospital officials told police she was admitted with multiple rib fractures, a left clavicle fracture, severe cerebral edema and possible retinal hemorrhages, according to the police report.
Police said the fracture to the left clavicle was likely more than two weeks old.
Police said Rosgren told them he dropped the girl on her head and she quit breathing. He further said he thought the other injuries were the result of his attempt at CPR, authorities said.
However, police reported a doctor at Sunrise found that "given the patient’s constellation of findings, bruising to the face, old fractures, brain injury and highly specific retinal hemorrhage pattern, this child can be diagnosed as a physically abused child with abusive head trauma (including a component of violent shaking.) This child has medical findings of definite child abuse."
Forsgren, who is the girl's sole care provider, told police that he had just fed his daughter a bottle and was walking around burping her, holding her against his left shoulder, with his left arm against the back of her legs and his right arm free.
He told police he thought he heard his house phone ring and turned toward it. At that time, Rayea arched backwards, causing him to lose his grip, and she fell head-first on the carpeted floor, he told police.
Rosgren said Rayea let out a cry and he immediately picked her up and carried her into another room to get her a blanket, police said. But before he got her the blanket, she stopped breathing, he told police.
He said he put her on the ground and wrapped both arms around her torso and pushed down with his thumbs on the center of her chest. Police said he said then used one hand to press on her upper torso and then used two fingers to press on her center chest.
He told police he also gave her breaths of air. He told police the baby's natural mother, his girlfriend, Karen Marshall, then arrived home with her 10-year-old daughter and four other friends.
Forsgren told police he yelled at his girlfriend to take the 10-year-old to a neighbor because he didn't want her to see Rayea.
Forsgren said when the girls' mother returned about 15 seconds later, he told her to call 911, according to police.
Police said Forsgren admitted to smoking methamphetamine the day before the incident, but denied that it was in his apartment or around Rayea. He also denied to police that he was under the influence of the drug while Rayea was in his care.