Baby Dies, Father Charged

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A Pine resident has been arrested on charges of second-degree murder in the death of his infant son.

Originally booked for child abuse and aggravated assault, the charge against Bruce Ybarra was upgraded when the four-month-old child died Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 16., at Phoenix Children's Hospital following emergency brain surgery.

According to the Gila County Sheriff's Department, Ybarra called 911 Tuesday evening to report that his son was not breathing. CPR instructions were provided over the phone, and emergency medical personnel were dispatched.

The infant was transported to Payson Regional Medical Center where sheriff's department personnel were waiting.

The physician who examined the child in the emergency room disclosed that he had suffered serious injuries to the head "of a suspicious nature."

Following his transfer to Phoenix Children's Hospital, doctors at that facility reported "severe trauma to the brain" and indicated the child may have been the victim of "shaken baby syndrome."

After emergency surgery, the child was placed on life support until he died.

While complete results of an autopsy conducted Thursday are pending, the pathologist indicated shaken baby syndrome as the probable cause of death.

The sheriff's department reports that a search warrant was obtained for the Ybarra residence, and that Ybarra was interviewed and booked Wednesday. He attended his initial appearance in Gila County Superior Court Thursday, and is being held on $50,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22.

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