Murder charges filed in beating death of 2-year-old Lake Station girl

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LAKE STATION, Ind. -- A 19-year-old man has been charged in the murder of his girlfriend’s young daughter.

Police say he was taking care of 2-year-old Nieyely Lopez’s when she died.

The toddler was murdered Sunday morning in her own Lake Station, Indiana home. Police say Antonio Harris was supposed to be caring for her. Instead, police say he somehow took her life then went back to bed.

Harris is also charged with neglect of a dependent and battery.

Harris told police he smoked “weed” with the child’s mother early Sunday morning. She then left to go to work, at which time, Harris told police he went back to bed. Harris stated when he awoke, he found the child in the living room not breathing.

He then called a relative and the two drove to get help around 9 a.m. They flagged down fire department personnel who happened to be at the intersection of Route 20 and Lake St in Gary at the time. Firefighters say the child was not breathing, cold to the touch and had bruises to her face, neck and chest. They called police.

Investigators took Harris into custody. They combed through the house where the child lived before filing charges. The injuries are so great they indicate that force and repetition may have been at play.

Harris could be due in bond court as early as Wednesday.

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