- Associated Press - Saturday, February 4, 2017

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (AP) - A 27-year-old Westminster man has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death last month of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter.

Joseph William Barela was booked into jail on Friday. Jail records indicate he is to make an initial court appearance on Saturday afternoon.

Officers say they responded on Jan. 26 to a report of a girl that wasn’t breathing. She was taken to the hospital with significant injuries and was placed on life support. Investigators say she was removed from life support the next day.

The Jefferson County coroner’s office declined to release the girl’s name.

Police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke says officials believe the girl was fatally injured while she was in the care of Barela and while her mother was at work.



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