COON RAPIDS, Minn. — Police arrested a man they believe is responsible for an infant’s death that happened over a decade ago.
Benjamin Russell was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for the 2009 death of his 3-month-old daughter, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday.
On Jan. 19, 2009, Coon Rapids police responded to a report of a three-month-old not breathing near the 13100 block of Meadowood Curve Northwest. The infant was declared dead at a local hospital.
The baby’s cause of death was determined to be suffocation.
When initially interviewed by law enforcement in 2009, Russell said he set his daughter down for a nap. He went to check on her an hour later and she had rolled over onto a stomach and was face down on a blanket he had used to prop up her bottle.
On July 5, the ACSO received reports that Russell admitted to being responsible for his daughter’s death.
According to the complaint, Russell confided in a friend about what happened on the day his daughter died. He told them the child would not stop crying when he was trying to lay her down for a nap and could no longer handle it.
He allegedly placed a pillow over his daughter’s face to “muffle the sound” before leaving the room. He said he returned a short time later and the child had turned blue. Russell admitted that he did not call 911 immediately when he discovered his daughter.
Russell currently has two children under the age of two. Family members report he seems often overwhelmed caring for them.
The incident is under investigation by the Coon Rapids Police Department and the ACSO.