Lakewood father charged with murder in 15-month-old daughter’s death

LAKEWOOD, Wash. – A Lakewood father has been charged with killing his 15-month-old daughter, Lakewood police said Monday.

Matthew Gantt, 42, was charged with second-degree murder and tampering with a witness in Pierce County Superior Court.

Lakewood police Lt. Chris Lawler said paramedics went to a Tillicum address on Oct. 6 after somebody called 911 to say the girl wasn’t breathing.

According to court documents, the girl had a skull fracture, brain bleeding, a black eye, retinal hemorrhages in both eyes, and bruises on her arms, hips and legs.  Neither parent would give a statement to investigators on the scene, Lawler said, and according to court documents Gantt repeatedly told his wife not to talk to investigators.

The girl was declared brain dead, and life support was removed last Tuesday. The Pierce County medical examiner performed an autopsy and ruled the girl’s death was a homicide.

Detectives served “several search warrants,” Lawler said, and the girl’s 42-year-old father was arrested.