North Fort Myers man charged in death of infant daughter
10:20 PM, Mar. 25, 2012 |
A small apartment in the rear of 18601 Palm Creek Drive is where Lee County Sheriff's Office deputies found an 8-week-old baby who had suffered massive head trauma on Friday. The baby later died after receiving care at a local hospital. / Kinfay Moroti/news-press.com
Cantrell / LCSO booking mug
Steven Cantrell, 21, was arrested Saturday. Lee County sheriff’s deputies had responded to his home on Palm Creek Drive in North Fort Myers around 4 p.m. Friday after dispatchers received a 911 call about an unconscious child, according to a sheriff’s office news release. He is being held without bond at the Lee County Jail.
When deputies arrived, they learned Jada Cantrell, born Jan. 29, had been taken to a local hospital. There, they were shown evidence by the emergency room’s attending physician that the child suffered severe head trauma, including multiple skull fractures.
Jada lived in a small unit behind the main residence at the Palm Creek Drive address with her mother, father and maternal grandfather, according to the property’s owner. The baby’s mother, Faith Boyki, 21, has been in jail since March 16 on a probation violation charge and is scheduled to appear in court Monday, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office website.
Cantrell allegedly gave detectives conflicting explanations about the child’s injuries, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office report. The investigation, however, showed none of the explanations were plausible, according to the sheriff’s office.
On a Facebook profile for a Steven Cantrell, several posts have been made about Jada in the past few months. “(I) love my family ive never felt anything lke this in my life love you faith n jada cantrell thnks for being a good family,” one post from Feb. 27 reads. “(I) love my baby girls sooo much they mean the world to me i wouldnt trade for ANYTHING,” another post from March 3 reads.
Cantrell’s listed occupation on his Facebook page is tattoo artist.
According to the sheriff’s office website, he has been arrested seven times since 2009 for charges ranging from battery to robbery and vehicle theft.
A woman who declined to be named but identified herself to a reporter as Cantrell’s grandmother said he was an “excellent” father and that Jada was his top priority.
Roy Burkett, who owns the property where Cantrell had been living, said he let the family stay at a residence in the back of the main home, but didn’t know them well.
Bob Kane, who lives nearby, said he saw medics and deputies respond to the home Friday afternoon. When the ambulance left, it was driving slow with its lights on, but no siren, Kane said.
“That’s usually not a good sign,” he said. “I figured, well somebody’s dead.”