Prosecutors filed murder and assault charges Friday against a Marine from San Clemente accused of killing his girlfriend’s 17-month-old daughter at an apartment in Orange earlier this month, authorities said.
Christopher David Recio, 28, entered no plea when he appeared in Orange County Superior Court to face charges of murder and assault on a child likely to produce great bodily injury or death, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
“The defendant is accused of murdering 17-month-old Jane Doe in the city of Orange by causing blunt force trauma to the victim’s head,” according to the statement.
The injuries occurred on Jan. 5 at a home in the 3100 block of West Chapman Avenue, Orange Police Department Sgt. Phil McMullin said. Recio, who is described in booking records as a U.S. Marine, was not the child’s father.
Firefighters were first summoned to the apartment about 5:30 p.m. after someone reported the toddler needed medical help, the sergeant said.
Paramedics took the girl to a hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries the same day, McMullin said.
Details regarding how exactly the girl was injured were not available Friday. But McMullin said through their investigation, detectives determined the incident was not an accident.
“This was an intentional act,” the sergeant said.
Prosecutors declined to discuss the details of the case.
Recio was scheduled to return to court for an arraignment hearing on Feb. 8.
A U.S. Marine sergeant by the same name was honored by the L.A. Galaxy Soccer Team in May as the team’s “Hero of the Game.”
A profile for the honoree stated that he had served eight years with the Marines, including two combat deployments to Afghanistan and two deployments to Japan. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton, serving as a combat instructor in an infantry training battalion.