Houston police filed charges against a 57-year-old dad days after they discovered his 6-month-old son's dead body inside a refrigerator.
On May 2, Joseph DeeLee Mouton called 911 saying that he was suicidal. Paramedics found him unresponsive on the floor of his apartment with self-inflicted injuries, according to a police statement.
Police said that neighbors urged them to look for his child, Joseph Elijah. They searched the apartment and ultimately found the baby's body, swaddled in a blanket and stuffed in the fridge.
Police officials said that Mouton admitted to "having a role in the child's death," but a department spokesman declined to be more specific about Mouton's confession. He was charged Monday with injury to a child.
If convicted, Mouton could be sentenced from five to 99 years in prison, said Donna Hawkins spokeswoman in the district attorney's office.
"The defendant had a duty to the child and he was reckless in his handling of the child," Hawkins said to The Huffington Post. "It is charged that by omission he caused serious bodily injury."
The Harris County Medical Examiner's officer hasn't completed an autopsy yet and a spokeswoman told HuffPost it could be weeks -- or months -- before they determine how the baby died.
While police remain tight-lipped about the investigation, court documents cited by ABC 13 had more details about the baby's death. Mouton allegedly admitted that on April 29 he was intoxicated and dropped his son, but didn't take him to a doctor.
Other outlets reported that the infant stopped breathing the day before police found his body.
Mouton was raising the child by himself after breaking up with the child's mother. The mother recently moved to another town to take care of a sick relative, the Houston Chronicle reported
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more