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West Bolivar man accused of killing newborn daughter

| Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

A 25-year-old Westmoreland County man has been charged with killing his 20-day-old daughter.

Clayton Daniel Mibroda of 1029 Sixth St., West Bolivar, was arraigned Thursday night on a charge of criminal homicide before Mt. Pleasant District Judge Roger Eckels. He was jailed without bond.

Mibroda struck his daughter, Natalie Mibroda, in the head about noon Tuesday at their Bolivar home, causing the fatal injuries, according to a criminal complaint filed by state police at Indiana. She was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. at Indiana Regional Medical Center.

An autopsy performed by the Allegheny County medical examiner's office showed the child suffered multiple blunt-force trauma to the head and chest, said Indiana County Coroner Michael Baker.

Mibroda claimed in his second of two interviews with police that he accidentally fell and hurt the infant, according to court papers.

District Attorney John Peck said last night that the autopsy results show otherwise.

"The injuries suffered by the child weren't from an accidental fall," Peck said.

Baker explained the child's injuries "were inconsistent with a single incident of accidental trauma." At least one of the injuries "appears to have occurred a day or more before the infliction of the fatal assault," Baker said.

The baby's mother, Kayla Lichtenfels, told police she believes the baby's father injured the child "because he has been mean toward the victim in the past," according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by Trooper Timothy Lipniskis. "Lichtenfels related Mibroda was the only one in control of the victim and believes he caused the injuries which led to the death."

Lichtenfels described the baby as all right when Mibroda, her boyfriend, went to feed the child at 5 a.m. Tuesday, police said. Lichtenfels saw no injuries on the child when she left the home about five hours later, Lipniskis said.

When Lichtenfels returned home shortly after noon, Mibroda refused to let her see her daughter, and she went to her mother's, police said. She described the child as "very pale white when she left the home but did not have injuries," authorities said. Lichtenfels' mother called 911.

Mibroda told police two different accounts about what happened when they questioned him on Tuesday and yesterday, according to the affidavit.

On Tuesday, Mibroda told police that when he was trying to feed the baby, she spit up and "her chest was caving in like something was blocking her airway," police said.

He panicked, flipped his daughter over and patted her back. Milk wouldn't stay in her, so he began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to his statement to police.

The child's grandmother then came to the door, saw what was happening and called 911, police said.

Yesterday, the suspect told police that shortly after noon Tuesday, his daughter was crying and making "a piercing sound" while lying on the floor next to him, according to the affidavit.

He lifted the baby up and ran down the hall to a bedroom, where her bottle was.

"Mibroda related that he either tripped on the bucket sitting by the door or slipped on the wet floor by the bucket," according to the affidavit. "Mibroda related that he dropped the baby and accidentally kicked the baby in the head."

The child began to fling back and forth as if in a seizure, according to Mibroda's statement, and he attempted to give her the bottle, according to the affidavit.

"Mibroda related the baby's eyes appeared to be pointing in different directions," the affidavit stated.

The child's grandmother arrived and called for medical help.

The baby was born on Dec. 7.

Authorities spelled her first name two different ways in court papers: Natalie and Natalee.

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