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Watervliet Twp. father charged in infant’s death

Published 12:20am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Watervliet Township man has been charged with murder, first-degree and child abuse, first-degree, in the death of a 10-month-old infant Monday morning.

Casey Ladd, 24, was arraigned in Berrien County Court Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.


Police and ambulance were dispatched at 10:36 a.m. Monday to Cobblestone Apartments, Apt. 14, Watervliet Township, for an infant not breathing.

The infant was rushed to Lakeland Community Hospital in Watervliet and then flown to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo. The infant died there at approximately 2:49 p.m.

The sheriff’s department arrested Ladd — the infant’s father — at the time due to suspicious and unusual circumstance surrounding the call.

A physical examination of the infant’s body revealed several areas of bruising.

An opinion of the manner of death will be determined within the medical examiner’s report.

The cause of death was being investigated during an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

The report will not be expected for completion for a few weeks, as it may take that long to analyze toxicology results.

Ladd was arrested Monday for child abuse.

The arrest was made due to the infant’s critical condition at that time and the unexplained bruising.

After the infant was pronounced dead, Ladd was also arrested for homicide-felon murder, first-degree.

Ladd’s bond was set at $1 million cash/surety. He tentatively has an exam scheduled for Aug. 23.

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