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Velazquez-Orjeda charged with second degree murder
June 24, 2020

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A Lehigh Acres man arrested for aggravated child abuse is now facing a second degree murder charge in the toddler's death.

Yannier Velazquez-Orjeda, 36, is being held on $500,000 bond.

"On Tuesday, June 16, 2020, the Lee County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested the suspect and he is now in our custody. I will not tolerate any type of abuse, especially victimizing the most vulnerable in our community," Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at a press conference called last week to announce the charge. "This monster is now behind bars and jail is too good for him. I want to thank our detectives and the State Attorney's Office for tirelessly investigating this case and bringing those responsible to justice."

The Lee County Sheriff's Office began its investigation on May 17 after deputies responded to call in the 4000 block of 23rd Street SW in reference to a 23-month-old girl who had possibly fallen and was vomiting and in need of medical assistance.

"Deputies and medics arrived and the child was transported to Golisano Children's Hospital," Marceno said. "Upon her arrival medical staff determined the child had suffered from multiple skull fractures and full body bruising, a brain bleed, broken clavicle, spleen damage and a blown pupil. Blood was present in the child's urine. These life threatening injuries prompted staff to have the child med flighted to John Hopkin's All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg."

In St. Petersburg, doctors found the child had suffered life-threatening abusive head trauma, causing injury to the skull, scalp and brain consistent with high force impact to the head, Marceno said.

"Doctors indicated the injuries were not consistent with any form of minor household injury," he added.

Following interviews with those in the home, it was indicated that Velazquez-Orjeda entered the child's bedroom, locked the door and remained inside for approximately 30 minutes. Marceno said the child's mother told investigators that she knocked on the door and was allowed in where she observed the child's injuries.

The toddler's mother and Velazquez-Orjeda were in a domestic relationship and had been dating for approximately eight months, officials said

The Lee County's Sheriff's Office placed Velazquez-Orjeda under arrest and charged him with aggravated child abuse. He was released on $250,000 bond on May 19.

The baby died of her injuries the next evening.

Marceno said following the child's passing, the State Attorney's Office charged Velazquez-Orjeda with second degree murder.

He was subsequently taken back into custody on June 16 and remained in the Lee County Jail as of Monday afternoon.

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