Dad Charged With Murder of 2-Month-Old Daughter

The father is accused of throwing his baby head-first into a bassinet.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Marcus Rooks faced a judge today after he was arrested for reportedly assaulting his 2-month-old daughter.

    A father has been charged with the murder of his 2-month-old daughter. 

    Marcus Rooks, 32, of Manchester, is accused of throwing his daughter, Adore Marie Daniels, head-first into a bassinet in Hartford and not seeking help when she was unresponsive for hours.

    Police said they responded to 798 Capitol Avenue around 1:15 p.m. on April 15 for an unresponsive infant.

    Adore was in critical condition when she was admitted to Connecticut Children's Medical Center on Monday, April 15. Police said Adore had injuries to her head and neck, and it appeared she might have been shaken.

    A week later, she was pronounced dead.

    Rooks was originally charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor. He appeared in court on Friday morning and has also been charged with murder.

    According to an arrest warrant, Rooks admitted his daughter was crying and he lost control, throwing her head-first into a bassinet.

    Investigators said the infant was unresponsive for hours, and Rooks never reported it or called for help.

    The Hartford Police Department Special Investigations Division and Major Crimes Division homicide detectives said they have been conducting a criminal investigation, and the state Department of Children and Families is involved in the case. 

    At the time of Rooks' arrest, there was also an outstanding warrant charging him with third-degree assault in an unrelated incident.

    The baby's great uncle, Ronald McNair, said Rooks was supposed to be taking care of her.

    "My niece said she left [the baby] with the father while she was at work," McNair explained.

    Dannie Sears, the baby's godmother, called 911 when the child's mother arrived home from work and noticed something was wrong.

    "Her mother came down to me saying she didn't look right, she wasn't acting right, so I told her to bring [the baby] to me," Sears explained. "I noticed her head lolling and her eyes kind of rolled to the side. She wouldn't connect, she wouldn't follow my hand or nothing [sic]. Within five seconds, I knew something was wrong with her, and I called 911."

    Sears told the police dispatcher the baby was not focusing and that her eyes looked like they might be rolling to the side.

    "She's grunting; in fact, she seems unconscious," Sears said.