Uniontown man wanted in East Huntingdon girl’s death arrested in Ohio
A Uniontown man wanted in the killing of an 11-month-old girl in East Huntingdon Saturday has been arrested in Ohio, according to state police.
Derrick “Hector” A. Bass, 29, was arrested Monday afternoon in Cleveland without incident, Trooper Steve Limani said.
Bass is charged with homicide and related offenses in the death of Niomie Rose Miller, who police say was the daughter of Bass’ girlfriend.
According to police, Bass was caring for the girl at the time. Niomie’s body was found underneath a blanket in a playpen early Sunday after Bass had been watching the child while his girlfriend was at work, police said.
Niomie would have turned 1 on July 27.
Bass was watching Niomie and his two children at the Laurel Hill Apartments near Scottdale on Saturday while the girl’s mother, Sara Miller, worked at a gas station, police said. Bass and Miller had just started dating a few days prior.
“He was supposed to come pick her up at the conclusion of her shift at 10 o’clock that evening,” Limani said. “He had never showed up to pick her up.”
Troopers were first notified of a problem at 11:15 p.m. when Miller arrived home to find Bass, the three children, two televisions and 27 DVDs missing, according to court papers. Troopers started looking for Bass and Niomie.
About 30 minutes later, Miller called 911 back to report Bass claimed to be detained during a traffic stop in Washington County, but troopers found that to be false.
The final call came at 12:30 a.m. — Miller found Niomie’s body underneath blankets in a playpen.
“She is unresponsive and cold to the touch,” Limani said.
Authorities are investigating the possibility Niomie may have drowned. A final determination will be made after toxicology and other tests are complete, deputy coroner John Ackerman said.
Neighbor David Shandorf said he had never seen the child in the month since Miller moved in across the hall. But early Sunday, he heard the “hysteria.”
“ ‘No, no, no, no,’ ” he recalled hearing a woman scream.
No one was home at Miller’s apartment Monday afternoon. Family members could not be reached.
Bass also is charged with stealing two televisions from the woman’s apartment, Limani said.
Troopers found the televisions and DVDs at Bass’ Uniontown apartment. Investigators are trying to determine how he got from East Huntingdon to Uniontown. His two children were dropped off with someone he knows, Limani said.
He is charged with homicide, theft, receiving stolen property, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Bass has a criminal history dating back to 2008 in Westmoreland, Fayette and Indiana counties, according to online court records. He has been sentenced to short jail terms and probation on minor offenses, ranging from retail theft to drug possession.
Bass is awaiting preliminary hearings on retail theft and harassment allegations in Monessen filed earlier this year.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .