Brian O'Callaghan, NSA Division Chief, Accused In Fatal Beating Of Adopted Toddler

02/19/2014 11:35 am ET | Updated Feb 19, 2014

A National Security Agency division chief is accused of beating his recently adopted son to death.

Brian O'Callaghan, 36, was held without bail following the Feb. 3 death of 3-year-old Hyunsu O'Callaghan. The suspect and his wife adopted the boy from South Korea in October, according to WUSA.

O'Callaghan, a Marine who has served in Iraq, is the NSA's Korea Division chief and holds top-secret intelligence clearance, the Washington Post reported.

According to charging documents, the suspect said the boy slipped in the shower and hurt himself Jan. 31. O'Callaghan's wife was out of town at the time.

O'Callaghan said he spent the next day out with his son. After putting the boy down for a nap, he said he noticed a pinkish fluid staining his son's mattress, and mucus coming from his nose. He told police that the child began projectile vomiting when he picked him up, so he rushed to the hospital.

Doctors called police after determining Hyunsu had brain trauma and was hemorrhaging in the eyes, according to WJLA. The child died a day later.

The boy's father was arrested Feb. 12 and charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

An autopsy performed on Hyunsu showed the injuries were consistent with being beaten, Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Fenton told The Washington Post. The autopsy showed the boy had a fracture at the base of his skull, bruises to his forehead, and a swollen brain, among other injuries.

“Basically this child was beaten to death from head to toe,” Fenton said.

Family members of O'Callaghan have come to his defense, including his grandfather, William Rose.

“I find it impossible to believe,” Rose said. “He’s worked so hard to get this baby. He was so loving with him. He’s been so wonderful with his other child. I’ve never seen him do anything that would make me believe he is capable of that.”

Steve McCool, O'Callaghan's defense attorney, called the incident a "terrible tragedy" but not a murder.

The suspect was allowed to attend his son's memorial service.

O'Callaghan also has a 7-year-old biological son.

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