LOGAN — A 30-year-old Logan man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a baby girl by smothering her, weeks before Christmas last year. Kyle T. Gooch was booked Tuesday night into the Cache County Jail on suspicion of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.
According to an affidavit for Gooch’s arrest, Logan City police were called to a Logan apartment December 15, 2019, on report of the deceased infant, found in her crib. Investigators found “several signs of trauma” on the child’s body. The baby had bruising on her head, ears, and several bright red abrasions on her face. It was estimated that the child had died around 8 p.m. the night before.
Police interviewed Gooch and the baby’s mother. They learned that the couple’s three children, including the victim, had been left in the care of the suspect on the night of December 14. The mother had left briefly to collect some Christmas gifts, leaving the baby screaming hysterically.
Gooch told police he had swaddled the girl in a large blue blanket, claiming it helped calm her down. He then placed her into the crib, face-down, for the night.
The baby was found deceased the next morning by Gooch, still wrapped in the blanket. Her body was transferred to the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause of death.
An autopsy report found the victim had thirteen different blunt force injuries to the head. A physician later concluded that the wounds were not accidental and were “consistent with inflicted pressure as might occur with smothering.” It also appeared the facial abrasions could have been caused by rubbing the baby’s face back and forth on the mattress sheet while being smothered.
In June, police conducted a second round of interviews with Gooch and the baby’s mother. The woman described her boyfriend as being “very controlling of her and her children.” She also said the suspect would cover the kid’s mouths when they would cry. He would also spank them.
Gooch denied the claims of smothering the baby, saying it was impossible. He swore that no one pushed the baby’s head down into the mattress.
Investigators learned more about the girl’s death during a third interview with the child’s mother and her lawyer, held earlier this month. She stated Gooch had been drinking heavily on the night of her daughter’s death. She described him as being very intoxicated and distant. He had also encouraged her to drink with him to the point that she was going to vomit.
The arrest warrant concluded that Gooch committed aggravated murder by forcing the baby’s head into the mattress with reckless indifference to human life, causing the girl’s death, by forcibly smothering her.
Gooch is being held in jail without bail. He is expected to be formally arraigned in 1st District Court Thursday afternoon.