Update: Abused two-month-old baby improving; old injuries found on twin brother
The condition of a two-month-old baby girl, allegedly abused by a family friend, is improving.
Redding Police Sergeant Al Mellon said the baby is now breathing on her own and is somewhat responsive. He told us it is still too soon to tell if there will be any long term affects on the girl.
She is still being treated at a Sacramento hospital.
Sergeant Mellon also said that old injuries were found on her twin brother. He said at this time, they are not sure if these were caused by the same suspect or by somebody else.
Their investigation is still on going.
The baby girl was allegedly roughed up by 33-year-old Stephen Rehmeier at the La Quinta Inn & Suites on Hilltop Drive in Redding on June 3.
According to the a police report written by Redding police investigators, Rehmeier turned himself in to police the following morning.
He told investigators, he was babysitting the baby girl and her twin brother while their mother and her boyfriend used the pool at the hotel.
He admitted to slapping the baby on her bottom over her diaper too hard, trying to force the baby to drink from her bottle to the point that she was spitting up formula, squeezing and shaking her hard while holding her under her armpits, and then accidentally dropping her on her head when he went to place her back on the bed.
The report said he then called the front desk to get help when mother came back.
At first, Rehmeier told the baby's mother that she had choked on her bottle.
After the doctors told her that story didn't add up to the extent of her injuries, she questioned Rehmeier and convinced him to turn himself in.
He told investigators he knew what he did was wrong and he feels embarrassed and ashamed.
Rehmeier and the baby's mother know each other because he worked at a group home she used to stay at in Alturas. Whenever he comes to Redding on business, he visits her.
Rehmeier is charged with child cruelty resulting in great bodily injury. He is held on $500,000 bail.
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