Woman's boyfriend charged in death of 9-month-old girl
Baby suffered head trauma, boyfriend never called 911, deputies say
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The boyfriend of a Clay County woman has been charged in the February death of her 9-month-old daughter, deputies said.
According to the medical examiner, Charli May Lee Smith died Feb. 4 of blunt-impact head trauma.
Mathew Hamrysky, 27, was arrested Thursday and charged with aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child neglect in the girl's death. He made his first appearance before a judge on Friday and is being held in the Clay County jail on bonds totaling $400,000.
A Clay County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said Hamrysky has been placed on suicide watch because of statements that he made during his arrest and booking.
The baby's aunt, Zandria Smith, said her brother, Charli May's father, has mixed emotions after the arrest.
“It’s hard. It’s a happy moment, but it also is a hard moment to know this could go to trial and could be stretched out for a while, and so it’s hard in that respect, I feel, so I think he’s happy but hurt at the same time,” Zandria Smith said.
According to detectives, Hamrysky was watching Charli May and her 2-year-old sister Feb. 4 at the InTown Suites in Orange Park while the girls' mother, Ashley Smith, worked at Captain D's on Blanding Boulevard.
Hamrysky called Smith about 7:15 p.m. to tell her that Charli May wasn't breathing. He never called 911, authorities said.
Smith walked back to the room and called 911 when she found Charli May still unresponsive. Charli May died that night at Orange Park Medical Center.
According to his arrest affidavit, Hamrysky told detectives that he dropped Charli May in her playpen and she suffered a head injury sometime between 5 and 6 pm. Detectives said Hamrysky videotaped Charli May struggling to breathe at 6:09 p.m., but when Smith called to check on her daughters about 20 minutes later, he told her everything was fine.
Detectives said Hamrysky videotaped Charli May having a possible seizure at 6:47 p.m. and called Smith about 30 minutes later to tell her the baby wasn't breathing.
Doctors found bruises all over Charli May, including on her head, neck, shoulder and arm, according to police reports.
A child abuse medical specialist reviewed the evidence and timeline and said that if medical help had been sought immediately after Charli May suffered the head injury, her life might have been saved. The specialist also said that Charli May's injuries were not consistent with Hamrysky's assertion that he dropped her into the playpen from a standing position.
“It was super hard reading those reports and just, why? Why would you do that to a child?” Zandria Smith said. “No matter how mad you get, you can control yourself to get, like, let me breathe and walk away. It just doesn’t make sense.”
According to a previous incident report, Hamrysky said he heard Charli May crying and found her on the floor with her sister standing over her, holding a toy horse. He said he put Charli May in her crib and took cellphone videos of her.
Smith later told deputies that Charli May had fallen off the sofa three days earlier and suffered a golfball-size lump on her head.
Deputies said no other arrests have been made in Charli May's death.
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