Zackry Johnson, 31, was taking care of the one-year-old child while her mother was at work.
Trigger Warning: This article contains themes of child abuse that some readers may find distressing.
A 31-year-old man named Zackry Johnson has confessed to killing his girlfriend’s baby daughter while trying to put her to sleep, so he could play video games peacefully. Johnson initially lied to the authorities that the 1-year-old baby sustained injuries while "play fighting" with her older sister. According to a November 5 Facebook post from the Fairbanks Police Department, Johnson was caring for the baby girl while her mother was at work. The man was reportedly living with his girlfriend and her children. The child's mother told investigators that when she returned from work, Johnson told her that the baby was sleeping. However, when she went to check on her toddler the following day, she found the baby unresponsive.
As per The Sacramento Bee, the devastated mother called 911 and the responding officers arrived to find "multiple injuries on the body of the baby, consistent with being assaulted." After speaking to the baby's mother, authorities took Johnson to the police department for further investigation.
During interrogation, Johnson waived his Miranda rights and told police that the baby's injuries were from "play fighting" with her 6-year-old sister. He went on to give false accounts of how the baby was injured when the authorities confronted him with the fact that the injuries on the child were not consistent with "two young siblings rough-housing." Johnson ultimately gave in and admitted that he caused multiple injuries and used too much force against the child as he was trying to get her to take a nap so that he could play video games.
"He demonstrated several of the actions he used on the child and further acknowledged his actions likely led to the death of the girl," the Fairbanks Police Department said in a statement.
Johnson is currently held at the Fairbanks Correctional Center on a charge of second-degree murder of the infant. He is apparently charged with "knowingly engaging in conduct that resulted in the death of another person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life," as per the police statement.
Authorities have urged anyone with information about the case to contact detectives at [email protected] or call 907-450-6550. The Fairbanks police also asked people to report any kind of child abuse to the local police, and Alaska State Troopers, or call the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-478-4444.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Iuliia Bondar