A father put his six-week-old daughter in a freezer – to stop her crying, a court has been told.
Tyler James Deutsch, 25, put the little girl in the compartment, and then fell asleep for an hour. He has now been charged with child assault, criminal mistreatment and interfering with reporting of domestic violence.
He appeared in court in Tacoma, Washington, U.S. where bail was set at $1 million.
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told the court that Deutsch fell asleep after putting the child in the freezer on Saturday, then awoke after an hour.
He was removing the baby when the horrified child's 22-year-old mother returned.
He tried to take the phone away when the mother tried to call for help from their trailer in Roy, Washington.
The mother took the child and got neighbours to call police. Prosecutors say the child's core temperature fell to 84 degrees in the 10-degree freezer. She also had a broken arm, a broken leg, blisters on her feet and a head injury.
If convicted, Deutsch is looking at spending the rest of his life in prison.
The court heard how the mother returned home to find Deutsch removing the baby from the freezer wearing only a diaper.
The freezer, an upright compartment over the fridge was set to 10 degrees and held a half-full bag of ice and a bag of cauliflower.
Deutsch admitted putting the girl into the freezer, but told the baby's mother that it was for his daughter's own benefit.
However, when police arrived, he changed his story saying that he was exhausted from working all night - fell asleep - and awoke to find that the baby was not asleep next to him where he had left her. He said he had no idea how she ended up in the freezer.
Ed Troyer of Pierce County Sheriff's Dept. said: "A six-week old kid can't do much other than cry. And from what we understand he wanted the baby to stop crying so he put the baby in the freezer."
The infant girl is expected to recover. The case continues.