Man charged in death of 17-month-old

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The man arrested twice in the death of a 17-month-old early last week has been formally charged.

Shaquille Rowe, 27, was in court Monday morning and has been charged with the following:

Shaquille Rowe
  • Murder
  • Aggravated battery
  • Neglect of a dependent resulting in death

Around 12:30 p.m. May 17, Fort Wayne Police were alerted about a child who was taken from a home in the 2700 block of Millbrook Drive, in the Brookmill Courts Apartments complex off Covington Road, to an area hospital in critical condition.

The child, identified as Aiden M. Clark of Fort Wayne, died at the hospital.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office said Aiden died of blunt force injuries of the chest. The death was ruled a homicide.

On May 19, Fort Wayne Police said Rowe was arrested on charges of battery to a minor causing death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Rowe said he was in the shower when he heard crying. He said he got out and found the toddler was not breathing, and he started to perform CPR.

Medics who treated the toddler found bruising around his neck and chest possibly related to “some type of abuse,” the affidavit said.

An autopsy found the child had suffered a fractured sternum and his “heart was ripped in half,” the affidavit said. The toddler suffered a torn pericardium sac which led to a “massive amount of hemorrhaging.” He also suffered blunt force trauma to his left midsection, a lacerated spleen and hemorrhaging around his left kidney and pancreas.

Doctors noted the child likely died two to five minutes after suffering his injuries, the affidavit said.

Rowe was the only adult present in the home with the child, police said.

On May 20, Rowe was bonded out on previous charges of battery to a minor causing death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, but was arrested a short time later with additional charges of murder and aggravated battery.

Rowe’s trial hearing is scheduled for June 9.

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