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Clearwater police charge father in death of 5-week-old boy

CLEARWATER — Authorities have arrested a 25-year-old man they say killed his 5-week-old son after an argument with the baby's mother.

Jose Ruiz-Lopez of 304 S Corona Ave. No. 6 in Clearwater was arrested late Saturday night on a charge of second-degree murder.

Clearwater police started an investigation into the baby's death hours earlier, when the boy was rushed to a hospital about 2 a.m. after his parents called 911 to say he was vomiting and unresponsive.

Anthony Ruiz-Portal, who was born Sept. 17, died at 4:10 a.m. at Morton Plant Hospital.

Detectives learned that Ruiz-Lopez and Veronica Portal, 23, been in a domestic dispute Friday night, police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said. Ruiz-Lopez battered her, and she eventually escaped the house, Watts said.

After she left, authorities believe Ruiz-Lopez shook his son and hit the baby's head against the floor, Watts said. A preliminary autopsy revealed the infant died from blunt force trauma.

Clearwater police charge father in death of 5-week-old boy 10/25/09 [Last modified: Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:04am]
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