James E. Hammond, 44, of Harrington, who was wanted by police in connection with the death of a 7-month-old Dover infant, turned himself in to police March 14.
James E. Hammond, 44, of Harrington, turned himself in to police the morning of March 14 after Delaware State Police alerted the public of his alleged connection with the death of a 7-month-old Dover girl.
Hammond was charged with first-degree murder by abuse or neglect and has been committed to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center on a $100,000 secured bond.
The victim is Aubri N. Thompson, said division spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier. Aubri had been in the care of her aunt and Hammond, who Fournier said was the aunt’s boyfriend, beginning Feb. 25 while the child’s parents were on vacation.
Hammond and the aunt brought Aubri into the Bayhealth-Milford Memorial Hospital emergency room at 6:21 p.m. Feb. 28 after the child was found to be unresponsive, Fournier said. Attempts by the medical staff to revive the girl were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead at 7:29 p.m.
At the request of the Harrington Police Department, the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit was asked to investigate the incident. Detectives were informed that sometime between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 Hammond was watching Aubri alone when it was alleged she had fallen to the floor from a crib, although medical attention was not sought until the following day, Fournier said.
An autopsy was performed March 1 by a representative of the office of the chief medical examiner that resulted in a ruling of homicide by blunt force trauma.