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Tampa police look at whether another baby was murdered

TAMPA — The concrete headstone measures about 2 feet long with a picture of a teddy bear etched into its surface.

More than a year ago, a family buried a 5-pound, 12-ounce baby girl here. Her name was Angeliyah Robles. Born Oct. 24, 2007, two months premature. Died Jan. 14, 2008.

Tampa police investigated her death, closing the case in June — a month after Angeliyah's 15-year-old mother told investigators she was to blame.

Now, police wonder if the young mother was trying to cover for Angel Robles, her 25-year-old ex-boyfriend — the man who, documents show, called 911 on Jan. 10, 2008, to report something wrong with Angeliyah.

On Wednesday, Robles was arrested in connection with another baby's death. Deputies say Robles was caring for his new girlfriend's 11-month-old baby Tuesday when he called 911 to report the child had become unresponsive. Isiah McGuire, who deputies say suffered blunt trauma to his head, died hours later.

Robles is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and sexual battery in connection with that death.

According to documents released by the Hillsborough County medical examiner Friday, Angeliyah suffered blunt trauma to the head as well.

Four months after Angeliyah's death, detectives re-interviewed Rosie Goines. She told them she had been carrying her daughter in one arm, and holding a towel, shampoo and lotion in the other.

The lotion dropped, she said, and when she reached to grab it she knocked her daughter's head against the door.

Angeliyah died at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital after suffering subdural hemorrhage due to a blunt impact to the head, the medical examiner wrote.

Originally, documents show, Goines told officials Angeliyah had started vomiting about 2 p.m. Jan. 10, four days before she died.

She said the baby cried and cried and, by 4 p.m. wouldn't take her bottle. At 6:30 p.m., Goines said, she took the infant to a motel to see Robles, whom she described as the baby's father, according to the records.

At 8 p.m., Goines left Angeliyah in Robles' care at the motel. By 8:53 p.m., Robles called 911, saying Angeliyah was having seizures.

The medical examiner called the death an accident.

Though the medical examiner's records repeatedly refer to Robles as Angeliyah's father, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said DNA evidence revealed Robles was not, which is why he was not charged with a sex crime for his relationship with Goines.

Robles remains at the Orient Road Jail, where a sheriff's spokesman said he is on suicide watch.

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Tampa police look at whether another baby was murdered 05/01/09 [Last modified: Saturday, May 2, 2009 6:50am]
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