Florida man facing multiple charges in death of infant daughter: ‘Don’t know how a father could do this’


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A Florida man is facing multiple charges “for causing the death” of his 4-month-old daughter, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Grady Judd announced Wednesday that Jacob Kubai, 22, is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child, aggravated child abuse and two counts of knowingly abusing a child without bodily harm in the death of his daughter, Willow.

His arrest comes after a joint death investigation with the Bartow Police Department that began on Feb. 22 after Willow was brought to the Bartow Regional Medical Center with “no brain activity and suspicious physical injuries,” according to the sheriff’s office.


The infant girl was stabilized and transported by helicopter to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, where it was determined that she had a fractured skull, multiple layers of hemorrhaging to the brain, broken ribs, bruises and scratches. She died from her injuries two days later.

Judd said death investigations can “take many months” to complete, but the severe injuries to Willow “left no doubt how she was killed.”

“I don’t know how a father could do this to his child, but I do know he should be locked-up(sic) for as long as the law allows,” the sheriff said in a statement.


During separate interviews with a Polk County detective, neither Kubai or his wife could explain how the baby obtained her injuries.

When recalling his day with Willow before she arrived at the hospital, Kubai allegedly told detectives his daughter was fine while they went to Walmart together between 6:40 p.m. and 7:50 p.m. He said he fed her when they got home and then discovered she wasn’t breathing when he checked on her at around 8:10 p.m.

The sheriff’s office said security footage obtained by detectives showed Kubai alone at a self-checkout register at 6:54 p.m. and when they confronted him with the inconsistency, he “refused to provide any additional information.”

Walmart exterior shot

It was determined that Willow was injured while Kubai was her sole caregiver during a three-hour period before she was taken to the hospital. Kubai’s wife was at work at the time and told police that Willow did not have bruising when she left the house.

“The baby was literally beaten to death,” Judd said during a Wednesday news conference. “The only person at home at the time was Jacob.”

The sheriff’s office also said Kubai left the infant alone on at least two different occasions – Jan. 17 and Feb. 22.

An autopsy performed on Willow by the District 10 Medical Examiner’s Office on Feb. 27 revealed “multiple blunt force trauma injuries” to the front of Willow’s head, a swollen and hemorrhaged spine and an acute skull fracture on the back of her head, as well as ten rib fractures in the healing stage.

“Based on the injuries noted, the skull fracture would have been caused by the caregiver at that time. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma of the head. The manner of death was ruled as a homicide,” the autopsy concluded, according to the sheriff’s office.

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