Warrant details head trauma, broken clavicle in 17-day-old baby's death

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Police have arrested a man in the death of a 17-day-old baby girl from Kannapolis.

The Kannapolis police chief said the newborn was taken to the Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast on Friday, but was transferred to CMC-Main in Charlotte, where she was put on life support.

The little girl died Monday.

Maurice Daniels, 39, was taken into custody in Charlotte Tuesday on probation violations and later charged with child abuse and murder, officials said. He's being held in the Cabarrus County Law Enforcement Building without bond.

Channel 9 obtained a warrant that said Daniels "unlawfully, willfully and feloniously" inflicted serious bodily injury, abusive head trauma, and broken clavicle to the newborn.

Maurice Daniels

The warrant went on to state that Daniels was providing care for the child as "a substitute parent."

Police said the Department of Social Services learned about the injuries and asked detectives to get involved after seeing the injuries.

Investigators are waiting for the results of an autopsy to find out how the baby died.

Residents at the Cabarrus Arms Apartments said they remembered when they first held the baby girl, who they called an angel.

Neighbor Deanna Parks was almost in tears.

"It just seems like yesterday I was holding her," Parks said.

She brought clothes for the newborn.

"Looked like an angel. Real small. I was scared to hold her at first," Parks said.

Neighbor Abbie Shehorn said that she has heard Daniels arguing with a neighbor, but never heard sounds of a domestic disturbance coming from the apartment below her.

"That really makes me sick. Like I have helped that guy out a lot," Shehorn said. "That really breaks my heart. That really makes me mad too."

Officials said they are also questioning the baby's mother, who sources identified as Anority Caldwell. No charges have been filed.

"She told me about four days ago the baby got admitted to the hospital,” the mother’s neighbor told Channel 9. “She said the baby was losing weight."

Multiple neighbors who saw a 2012 mug shot of Caldwell confirmed she is the same woman who just brought a baby girl home from the hospital weeks ago.

In 2012, Rock Hill police charged her with unlawful conduct toward a child.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Kannapolis Police Department at (704) 920-4000. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, the public can also contact Cabarrus Area Crime Stoppers at (704) 93CRIME or go to www.cabarruscrimestoppers.com.  Information that leads to an arrest can qualify the tipster for a reward of up to $1,000. All calls, texts and emails are masked and cannot be traced to ensure anonymity.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.

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