Society

Man Charged With Murder for 3-Year-Old's Death (Photos)

| by Michael Doherty
A judge's gavel.A judge's gavel.

A father in Mississippi has been charged with murder after he allegedly beat his 3-year-old daughter to death because she couldn't answer math questions correctly.

Joshua Salovich, 25, told investigators that he attacked the girl because "she had to be tough if she wanted to survive," Daily Mail reports.

The dad said he would ask the young girl, Bailey Salovich, questions about numbers and "pop" her if she answered incorrectly, according to New York Daily News. Joshua added that he did this to the girl at least five times a week, using a bamboo rod, a cellphone cord, and his hand.

"She apparently did not want to participate and get the correct numbers," said Meridian Police Chief Benny Dubose during a court hearing.

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"He said he would pop her with his hands on her butt and legs when she got a wrong answer," added Dubose. "[He said he] backhanded her several times in the stomach because she kept getting it wrong."

Dubose said that on the day of the beating that led to her death, "He did state ... the child was giving an unusual amount of incorrect answers."

When investigators asked how hard Joshua, a boxer-in-training, had hit the girl on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a light tap and 10 being the hardest he could, "he rated them all 10s, with no hesitation," reports Fox.

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"He was pretty straightforward about what he did and why he did it," said Dubose. The police chief said that in his experience, it was unusual for someone to be so upfront about admitting to child abuse.

Bailey was taken to an emergency room on July 14 with cuts and bruises, as well as at least one head wound. She was pronounced dead on July 15 after being flown to another hospital.

Police said the 3-year-old suffered from a detached retina, bleeding in her brain, and blood in her lungs along with her outward injuries, according to the Root.

The girl's mother was reported to be in another room with the door closed and the TV on while the attack took place, and it's unclear whether or not the mother knew about the beatings.

The girl's mother collapsed during a court hearing and was taken to a hospital.

Joshua was reportedly not Bailey's biological father, though he reportedly appears on her birth certificate.

"According to investigators, he did indicate a little remorse," said Dubose. "Whether it was genuine or not, I don't know."

Joshua was charged with capital murder, and could potentially face the death penalty.

Sources: New York Daily News, Daily Mail, Fox, The Root / Photo Credit: WP Paarz/Flickr, Lauderdale County Detention Facility via Daily Mail, Meridian Police Department via Daily Mail

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