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Berks County man charged with murder in death of 11-week-old infant girl

An autopsy taken on the victim determined she died of injuries consistent with being shaken, according to the Berks County District Attorney's Office
Credit: Berks County District Attorney's Office

READING, Pa. — A 28-year-old Berks County man has been charged with murder in connection to the death of an 11-week-old girl earlier this year, the Berks County District Attorney's Office said.

Giovanni Gomez, of the 1100 block of Fox Run in Reading, is charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and endangering the welfare of children, according to Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams.

He is accused of killing the infant girl on March 28, Adams said in a press release.

According to investigators, police were contacted by the Berks County Department of Emergency Services at about 4 p.m. on March 28. DES reported the infant girl's mother had contacted 911 at about 10 a.m. that day to report her daughter was breathing, but was pale and cold to the touch. 

EMS reported to the child's residence and immediately transported her to the Reading Hospital for treatment. Medical staff at the hospital took a CAT scan of the girl, and discovered a subdural hematoma to the brain, investigators say.

The baby was transferred by ambulance to St. Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia, where she died on April 1.

Investigators later determined that Gomez was caring for the girl on the night of March 27, while the baby's mother was at work. He told investigators that he fed the baby multiple times, bathed her at 8 p.m., and put her to bed around 10:40. The baby showed no medical concerns during that time, Gomez said.

The girl's mother returned home at 11:45 p.m. and noted her daughter was whining and coughing in her sleep, investigators say. The girl's mother noted this was not normal and believed the baby might have had a cold.

At 9:30 a.m. on March 28, the girl's mother noted her baby was still sleeping, but sounded congested. She left the home to get medicine for the girl, and when she returned she noticed her baby was having trouble breathing, according to investigators. She then called 911.

In an interview with police on March 31, a doctor at St. Christopher's Hospital said the baby had suffered a serious brain injury, which an MRI revealed. The child also had spinal damage and had minimal blood flow to the brain, according to investigators.

The girl also had hemorrhages in both eyes, the doctor noted. The doctor concluded the injuries were the result of inflicted traumatic head injury, investigators say.

An autopsy conducted after the child's death on April 1 determined she died of "acute craniocerebral and cervical spinal cord injury due to shaken impact and blunt-force trauma," investigators say.

The Berks County Coroner’s Office ruled the manner of death as Homicide.

Gomez was charged with the baby's murder on Tuesday. He has been incarcerated in Berks County Prison since April 4 on unrelated charges, according to Adams. 

He will be held in Berks County Prison without bail after his arraignment, Adams said. Bail is not issued in first-degree murder cases, according to Adams.

As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest has occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and Gomez is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty, Adams said.