Kissimmee man charged with murder of daughter
Kissimmee police detectives Thursday arrested a Kissimmee man for the murder of his 16-month-old daughter.
Anthony Martin, 24, of Kissimmee, was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.
On May 23 at approximately 6:45 a.m., Kissimmee police officers responded to a Tarpon Street home in reference to a medical assistance call. When officers arrived, they learned that Martin had taken his daughter to Florida Hospital because she was not breathing. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to police reports, the child had several suspicious bruises on her body, including a large bruise on the forehead and other areas of the face, bruises on the left and right side of the chest and cuts above her right eye and along the ribcage. The Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and ruled the child’s death a homicide, police reports stated.
During the investigation, detectives were able to put together a timeline of events that occurred from May 21-23. The child’s mother, Takita Tillman, dropped the child off with Martin on May 21, and told detectives that there was nothing wrong with the child. When detectives first questioned Martin, he also said that nothing was wrong, except that she started breathing funny in the middle of the night on May 22. Martin said that later in the night, he took the child and had her sleep on his chest, and said he woke up that morning to find the child unresponsive and limp.
When detectives interviewed roommates and friends that were with Martin and the child, they told detectives that in the early afternoon of May 22, they heard the child scream from the room where Martin was laying her down for a nap. They said Martin left the home later in the afternoon and when the roommates were feeding the child dinner, they noticed that her eyes looked dark and sunken in and that she wasn’t eating. They stayed with Martin’s children for the rest of the day, as Martin left and returned to the house around 11 p.m. Thursday night. They were later woken up by the commotion Martin was making before taking the child to the hospital. After interviewing Martin a second time Thursday, detectives concluded that his statements were inconsistent with the statements of other individuals that lived at the Tarpon Street home during that time frame and obtained an arrest warrant.
He cooperated with detectives and gave some detail on how the injuries occurred, that ultimately caused the child’s death. He was taken to the Osceola County Jail where he was held on zero bond.