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Father of infant found dead in car in Snellville charged with murder

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 9:22 AM EDT
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SNELLVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) - An eight-month-old infant is dead after allegedly being left in a vehicle by her father.

Hospital staff at Piedmont Eastside Emergency Room alerted police after the dead child was brought in by her grandmother.

Investigators said they later learned the baby was left in a car by her father, 20-year-old Davied Japez McCorry Whatley, of Grayson. Whatley was arrested earlier in the day at the Snellville Police Department after he went there to pick up a gun that was seized in a previous case. Police ran a background check on him before turning over the gun to him and found he was wanted for a misdemeanor probation violation related to a hit-and-run without insurance. He was taken into custody and booked in the Gwinnett County Jail.

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Snellville police said at no time while Whatley was in their custody did he mention he had a baby out in the car. Whatley’s car, a 2007 Mazda 3, was later found in the parking lot of Snellville City Hall near the dumpsters.

“I’m absolutely astounded that somebody would leave an eight-month-old in a car, park away from our building and walk up here knowing that child is in the car and leave them there, I’m astounded,” said Snellville Police Detective Jeff Manley.

Police said they have body camera video and dash camera video that proves Whatley did not mention the child. They plan to release that video.

“We have him on video from the time he walked into this lobby to the time that we transported him to Gwinnett County Detention Center, released him to sheriff’s deputies there, he was on video the entire time, he never made a statement that child was in the car,” said Manley.

Whatley bonded out of jail on the probation violation charge overnight but was arrested Wednesday morning on the charge of second-degree murder.

The baby has been identified as Nova Grace Whatley-Trejo. The child’s mother, Selena, sent the following statement:

“My daughter was loved so much by me and so many people it wasn’t supposed to be her time yet she was taken from me and the world too soon.”

NOVA GRACE WHATLEY-TREJO
NOVA GRACE WHATLEY-TREJO(FAMILY PHOTO)

The Snellville Police Department requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation take over the investigation. Whatley is currently being held in the Gwinnett County jail.