Father charged in death of 3-month-old Clark County infant

Brian Hayslip appears in Clark County Municipal Court for his arraignment Thursday for the murder of his 3-month-old child. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Brian Hayslip appears in Clark County Municipal Court for his arraignment Thursday for the murder of his 3-month-old child. Bill Lackey/Staff

Brian Hayslip was arrested in Mercer County after his daughter’s body was found in a nearby truck.

A 3-month-old Clark County girl was found dead Tuesday night in Mercer County and authorities have arrested her father and accused him of shaking her to death.

Brian Hayslip, 22, of Springfield, is charged with murder in Clark County. He is being held at the Mercer County Adult Detention Facility. Authorities identified Lilly Hayslip as the dead infant, and said Hayslip told them he shook the child when she would not stop crying.

“Mr. Hayslip admitted to shaking the baby, which resulted in the baby’s death while at his residence,” Clark County Sheriff’s Office Detective Andrew Reynolds wrote in an affidavit. “Mr. Hayslip stated to Mercer County detectives that he was feeding the baby and she began to cry and he shook her for a brief time. Mr. Hayslip advised he then put the baby down and the baby continued to cry and he began to shake the baby again and the child began to vomit onto her clothes, couch and play mat.”

Preliminary findings are the baby died from subdermal hematoma to the brain, according to officials.

Family of the girl’s mother declined an interview, but the brother of Brian Hayslip, Daniel Hayslip, said he hopes people suspend judgment until all the facts of the case are revealed.

“He was extremely good with her,” Daniel Hayslip said of his brother. “He was always so careful about everything. He was a new father that was scared and wanted to make sure everything he was doing was correct. He just loved her so much.”

Lilly was a happy infant, Daniel Hayslip said.

“She looked like she had a curious eye,” he said. “She seemed intrigued. Anything that moved she looked at it.”

He said he believes her death was an accident and that his brother panicked.

“I just know that he’s just afraid and people are painting him as a monster, but they don’t look at it from a different perspective,” Daniel Hayslip said. “We all make mistakes and this one resulted in a life. We have human error for a reason. This is accidental human error, and to call him a monster for it is (wrong).”

In 911 calls and a missing child report that were created Tuesday indicates the child’s mother, Brittany Bruce, acted almost immediately upon finding out that her baby was missing.

“I still haven’t been able to find Lilly,” Bruce said on a 911 call.

The missing child report, filed by Bruce, states Brian Hayslip was watching Lilly on Tuesday and was supposed to drop her off at Bruce’s mother’s home at noon and then go to work at 2 p.m.

He never showed up to either, according to the report.

“I phoned (the company) and they said Brian did not show up to work today,” German Twp. police officer Ryan Axle wrote in the report. “I phoned Brian multiple times and left voice messages for him to call into dispatch so we can speak.”

Axle said Bruce told him there was no argument before the disappearance and that she feared Hayslip might be suffering from mental illness. The officer said a witness saw Hayslip leave the home at 1 p.m.

A few hours later, at around 5 p.m., the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office said they received a phone call from a resident who said they had found a dead baby in a car seat inside a nearby Ford truck.

“There’s a pick up truck part way up our driveway pulled off in the mud hung up. There is a little baby in there and he’s dead,” the caller states. “There’s nobody here. We just opened the truck … and there’s a little baby in there and he’s cold.”

A statement released by Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said his office and the Celina Fire Department responded to the call and the baby was found dead at the scene.

Grey said authorities began searching for Brian Hayslip, as his identification card was found inside the truck.

“The sheriff’s office called for the nearest on duty K-9, which was from the Coldwater Police Department,” the statement said.

“The male was found in an open field, next to a wooded area. That subject was Brian A. Hayslip,” the statement said.

Reynolds said Hayslip told him he was looking for a place to hide the infant.

“Mr. Hayslip stated he was looking for a remote area to bury the baby,” he said.

No court appearance had been scheduled for Hayslip late Wednesday..

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