PCSO: Lakeland man arrested for aggravated child abuse in death of 2-month-old baby

Courtesy: Polk County Sheriff's Office

Kyle Reese is facing charges of aggravated child abuse after a 2-month-old baby died in his care in December, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the affidavit, on Monday, Dec. 9, deputies and Polk County Fire Rescue personnel responded to Reese’s home on North Acorn Drive in Lakeland for an unresponsive infant call. Reese told the first responders that he was home alone with 2-month-old twin babies and two other children, ages 4 and 6, when he dropped one of the babies. She was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital with multiple rib fractures, a skull fracture, and severe bleeding on the brain and died on three days later, detectives said. 

Detectives said that during interviews and reenactment, Reese told them that he was home alone with the four children when he was trying to eat after feeding all of the kids. According to detectives, Reese said he dropped the little girl while he was trying to prevent the other baby from falling off the couch. They said Reese told them that she fell headfirst onto the ground and that he may have fallen on top of her after she hit the floor. 

According to PCSO, the Hillsborough Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on the baby, during which he located numerous bruises to the front, back, and both sides of the baby’s head, on her back, and on her neck; two skull fractures; hemorrhaging of the optic nerves; and hemorrhaging down the spinal column, indicative of severe trauma. The Medical Examiner said three of the baby’s ribs were fractured and mostly re-healed, indicating they happened previously and not during the Dec. 9 event. The cause of death was ruled cranial cerebral and cervical trauma, and the manner of death was ruled homicide. 

“Please, please - if you’re not capable of taking care of children and babies, reach out for help before something horrific like this happens,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “Now a family is suffering the loss of a newborn baby girl because Kyle Reese was left in charge of four small children, and he did the unthinkable. He belongs behind bars.” 

According to detectives, Reese was Baker Acted by PCSO on Dec. 13, 2019, in relation to this event, and has been hospitalized since that time with self-inflicted injuries. Detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest and took him into custody when he was released from the hospital.