INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Observant investigators used a piece of jewelry to connect a suspect to the murder of a baby , according to court documents filed Tuesday.
Live-in boyfriend Jared Tapley, 20, is facing charges of murder and battery in the death of 4-month-old Nichole Williams .
Police say they found an unresponsive infant in a home on Euclid Avenue on Valentine's Day. They say Nichole Williams was suffering from a heart attack, and that she had "destructive brain injuries," including a skull fracture and bruises.
Tapley repeatedly told police that the baby was acting normal in his care until she stopped breathing, according to court documents. He said he found a Jenga game near her head after he left the room, but medical experts told police the game couldn't have caused the child's injuries.
Then, he told police the baby "jumped from his lap" and fell to the ground, which may have caused her injuries.
Eventually, an investigator noticed Tapley was wearing an IHSAA State Championship basketball ring, and the person performing the autopsy on the infant said it matched a pattern on the left side of the baby's face, the probable cause affidavit said.
Doctors determined Nichole's severe head injuries were the "result of acceleration-deceleration injury, with impact, as evidenced by the skull fracture and bruising." They said she couldn't have caused it on her own.
Neighbors said they were shocked by the news.
"How could someone do that to a child? That child is just starting her life," one said.
We spoke to the grandmother and mother of the baby Tuesday evening, but neither wanted to speak on camera about baby Nichole.
Tapley also refused an interview from the jail with us. He's scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
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