TACOMA — While Tyler Deutsch faced a judge in court Tuesday, his 6-week-old baby girl was in the hospital recovering from hypothermia.
His girlfriend, and the mother of the child, said she saw Deutsch take the baby out when she came home from work.
The child was in the freezer for as long as 90 minutes, deputy prosecutor Michelle Hyer said.
The mother said when she left, the baby was fully clothed. When she returned home, the baby was “only wearing a diaper,” Hyer added.
Court documents say the freezer was only 10 degrees inside and the baby’s body temperature had dropped to 84. Investigators say she had been lying on top of a bag of cauliflower and half-empty bag of ice.
“Additionally, there was a broken arm, broken leg and head injuries that we believe were caused by the defendant. This is one of those crimes that defy understanding,” said Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist.
Deutsch was charged with first-degree assault of a child, first-degree criminal mistreatment and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence. Bail was set at $1 million.
A parent who police say should never have reacted this way to a baby’s cry.
“It’s important for all parents to realize that the crying is a normal part of baby development,” said Dr. Michael Neufeld of Providence Hospital in Everett.
Neufeld says infant crying intensifies at two to three weeks, and peaks when they’re 2 months old. It’s during this window that he says abuse can happen.
Just last week, an 18-year-old Everett man was accused of shaking his baby so hard it suffered permanent brain damage and broken ribs.
Doctors want all new parents to realize babies will cry for no apparent reason, sometimes for hours and to have a plan in place when needed.
“Once you’ve met all their needs and you’ve fed them, changed their diaper, and if you’re feeling yourself get frustrated, put the baby down in a safe place and walk away,” said Neufeld.