A 30-year-old father who reported his infant daughter missing has been arrested and accused of sexually abusing, torturing and killing the girl, who was less than a month old.
Matthew Warner, 30, was charged Tuesday with murder, assault on a child causing death, torture, oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger and aggravated sexual assault of a child.
Warner, who at the time of the alleged crimes was under supervision by the Los Angeles County Probation Department because of previous convictions, is being held on $2.25-million bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 18.
He faces life in prison if convicted on all charges.
The Newhall man was arrested Saturday, a day after he and the baby’s mother reported to Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies that Ellorah Rose, 19 days old, was missing.
About 7 a.m. Saturday, Warner led deputies to a truck about a mile from the family’s home. Warner was arrested shortly after his daughter’s body was found in the cab.
Ellorah’s mother was cooperating with investigators.
Nan Allison, the baby’s grandmother, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday that her daughter had gone to her job as a daycare provider early Friday and left the baby with Warner in the couple’s bedroom.
Later in the day, Allison said, she heard unusual noises coming from the room and thought the baby’s crying seemed weak.
The grandmother said she became suspicious and tried to call police about 5 p.m., but the phone had been disconnected. Warner and the baby were gone by the time she called from a neighbor’s home, she said.
The couple showed up at a sheriff’s station about 9:30 p.m. to report the child missing.
The official cause of death has not been released.
In 2012, Warner was sentenced to two years in state prison after being convicted of joyriding. At the time of the alleged killing of his daughter, he was under supervision by the county probation department.
Warner has been convicted of joyriding three other times since 2003, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
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Times staff writer Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.