Father in Visalia infant death has history of domestic violence

November 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Aaron and Courtney Rowe are in jail facing charges in connection to the death of their 6-week-old baby girl.

The couple lived in an apartment in Visalia with their baby girl named Peyton. Neighbors say they had no clue the infant was a victim of physical abuse.

Several lights are still on at the apartment where Aaron and Courtney Rowe lived with their 6-week old daughter Peyton.

Visalia police say Peyton was the victim of physical abuse during most of her short life.

The couple's Facebook page shows what looks like a happy family portrait, but just weeks after this picture was taken, the couple called 9-1-1 to say their baby wasn't breathing. After being taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center -- the baby was pronounced dead.

Sgt. Paul Esquibel said, "The parents had given a statement to attest for that injury so there was nothing to cause us some great alarm at this point after consulting with the medical professionals."

But on Wednesday, an autopsy of the 6-week old showed Peyton died from blunt force trauma to the head. Aaron and Courtney were called in Thursday to talk to detectives. While they both denied abuse, investigators say the autopsy showed brutal injuries that caused her death -- and older injuries which showed a pattern of abuse.

Sgt. Paul Esquibel added, "There was bruising my understanding some fractures that were healing within a 2-week span is what they're estimating and that's why we're contending that the mother should have known."

Courtney Rowe, 21, is facing charges for failing to protect the infant. Aaron Rowe, 23, is being held for murder.

Andrea Rodriguez said, "It's scary for someone to do that to their own kids you don't know what else they're capable of."

Police say Aaron Rowe has a history of domestic violence. Action News has learned that last year -- he was sentenced to 90 days in jail on a domestic violence charge.

Neighbors say they're shocked that the family that seemed so normal is being charged in their 6-week's old death.

Candido Perez said, "They gave us candy we gave them cupcakes and we'd say hi -- I see the baby when they were carrying her out to go to the doctor or whatever."


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