Sacto 9-1-1
November 6, 2012
Sacramento uncle now a murder suspect after infant nephew dies of injuries

A 5-month-old baby who was hospitalized last week after suffering trauma allegedly at the hands of his uncle has died, Sacramento police say.

TAGHAP, WENDELL -34.jpgOfficers arrested the boy's uncle, identified as 34-year-old Wendell James Taghap, on Nov. 1 on suspicion of cruelty to a child in connection with the case. Today, police arrested him on suspicion of murder, said spokesman Officer Doug Morse.

The assault allegedly occurred Oct. 31 when the baby was in Taghap's custody in the 2600 block of Truxel Road in Natomas, Morse said. When the baby's mother returned from work, she thought he was sleeping and left him to rest. Later, she checked on him, found him unresponsive and called 911.

The boy died at a local hospital on Sunday, according to the Sacramento County Coroner's Office. An autopsy has not yet been performed.

Taghap declined an interview at the Sacramento County Main Jail, where he is being held in "total separation" from other inmates, likely because of the nature of the charges against him.

Homicide detectives are continuing their investigation.

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