It all happened so fast, but Jessica Arnold could remember every detail of that day when her 18-month-old daughter was found dead in her bedroom.
How could she forget, when her own fiancé was arrested for allegedly murdering and sexually assaulting her daughter?
This all happened on September 14, 2015, when emergency medical services in the town of New Albany responded for a report of a deceased 18-month-old female.
On that day, Jessica had been working while her fiancé, Jeremiah “J.C.” Cordell, watched her three-year-old and 18-month-old daughter. Jessica’s 16-year-old daughter was also at the residence while she worked.
When she returned home, the victim seemed to be fine. So, Jessica ran some errands with the victim and ate at a restaurant.
Then, Jessica went to drop her older daughter off at her father’s home in Muncy Valley. Again, Cordell was watching the victim. She then received a text from Cordell saying that the toddler had vomited.
When she arrived home and peeked in the bedroom, the victim seemed to be sleeping peacefully.
Then, when she later came into the room to wake the victim up, Jessica found that her baby was not breathing.
Even before the baby was taken to the hospital, the 18-month-old baby was pronounced deceased. A subsequent autopsy was performed to determine the cause of her death.
The result was shocking.
The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
But that was not it.
The sexual assault kit was also used in the autopsy, and the results indicated that the child’s shirt she had been wearing had spermatozoa on it, as did the towel used to clean the victim after she vomited.
Authorities immediately performed DNA tests, which matched the semen found on the baby with that of Cordell.
Now, Cordell locked up in the Bradford County Correctional Facility without bail, facing charges including Second Degree Murder and Deviant Sexual Intercourse.
Police authorities have not commented on why it took so long to find and charge Cordell, but they have said that Cordell’s story changed multiple times. When they were interrogating him, Cordell
would reply that he didn’t remember, or that he didn’t know what happened to the child.
Not surprisingly, many are horrified about what happened to the baby, and Cordell’s alleged crime.
A woman who asked not to be identified said, “I have a granddaughter and a grandson, so if anything like that should happen to them, I’d probably kill the person who did it.”
Cody Hall, a friend of the family of the victim, said “hopefully he does get put to jail for life.”
What do you think ? If he is found guilty, what should his punishment be?
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