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Watertown Police Investigating Baby's Death

March 15, 2013, 6:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Watertown Police Investigating Baby's Death
Serenity Sea Boy

WATERTOWN, SD -

A Watertown man faces a murder charge after police say he killed a baby girl.

Police and ambulance responded to a 911 call of an unconscious baby Wednesday. Fourteen-month-old Serenity Sea Boy died Friday.

Police arrested 25-year-old Jay Barse Wednesday. At first, he faced a felony battery charge; now he faces a second-degree murder charge.

First responders took the 14-month-old girl to a Watertown hospital Wednesday where doctors treated her for head trauma before sending her to Sioux Falls by air.  Watertown police questioned Barse at the police station and then arrested him.  He was the live-in boyfriend of Serenity's mother.

"At this time, the investigation is ongoing. But what's important is the person responsible for Serenity's death is in custody," detective Nic Ahmann said.

We spoke with the child’s family Friday. They chose not to do an interview this early in the investigation but shared a picture of Serenity celebrating her first birthday.

Barse will appear in court Tuesday morning. Police say they're still looking for potential evidence of abuse prior to Wednesday's incident.

"That's part of our investigation and that's why it's still ongoing. We're looking into all aspects," Ahmann said.

As a family waits for some of those details, their haunted by this one. A daughter, granddaughter and niece they had Wednesday, they don't have living with them anymore.

If convicted, Barse faces the possibility of life in prison.

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