Dad charged in baby girl's death

Iniubong Effiong Ebong, 31, is charged with injury to a child in the death of his daughter, five-month-old Indya Ebong

November 29, 2010 4:12:58 PM PST
A father sits behind bars, arrested in the death of his five-month-old daughter. Investigators say the father admitted to hitting the baby when she wouldn't stop crying. Iniubong Effiong Ebong has been in custody since Saturday and is being held on a $200,000 bond. The 31-year-old is an electrical engineering student at Lamar University in Beaumont.

Her name was Indya Ebong, a happy five-month-old baby girl. Her father, Iniubong Ebong, came to Houston from Beaumont -- where he lived -- to spend Thanksgiving weekend with her and her mother, LaQuisha Downs.

On Friday, Downs received a phone call at work from Iniubong Ebong. Indya, he said, had no appetite; when Downs returned to the apartment, it was far worse than that. The baby wasn't breathing.

"I went and picked her up and she just went -- she didn't respond; her arms and legs were just limbo," Downs said during a phone interview with Eyewitness News.

Indya Ebong was pronounced dead a few minutes later at the West Houston Medical Center.

The next day, Effiong Ebong was taken in for questioning by Houston police. Before he left, he told Downs he'd been playing with Indya and dropped her on the floor.

An autopsy revealed a fatal injury that prosecutors say went beyond that.

"It was discovered she had a severe abdominal trauma, liver laceration and the cause of death was homicide," prosecutor Tammy Thomas said.

Iniubong Ebong had a probable cause hearing in jail Sunday. He's been charged in his daughter's death. The alleged motive, according to prosecutors, she was crying; the alleged weapons were his hands.

Despite that, Downs says she cannot accept the idea that her child's father intentionally killed her.

"I think it was an accident," she said. "I think if he woulda known that she was dying he woulda took her to the hospital; he wouldn't have held her in his arms while waiting for me."

Funeral services for the infant have been scheduled for this weekend in Louisiana.

Iniubong Ebong is charged with injury to a child, which is first-degree felony. However, the charge could be upgraded.


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