Father Arrested for Alleged Murder of ‘Fussy’ One-Year-Old Daughter

An Indiana man, 28-year-old Damian Milton, was arrested on Monday for the alleged murder of his one-year-old daughter, Amaya Milton, in their family home. The arrest followed a medical examination that revealed the toddler had died from severe injuries, including torn neck ligaments and brain swelling due to oxygen deprivation. Milton has been charged with battery resulting in the death of a person under 14, a level 1 felony.

On the morning of July 31, Milton dialed 911, reporting that his daughter was having difficulty breathing. She was rushed to the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. However, doctors quickly identified the child’s injuries as suspicious and life-threatening, prompting them to alert the Indianapolis Police Department.

Amaya was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit. Medical professionals noted severe brain swelling, likely caused by oxygen deprivation, and ligament injuries in her neck. The child also had multiple visible scratches on her face. The police affidavit stated that the injuries and medical history were “highly suspicious for non-accidental/inflicted trauma.”

Upon questioning, Milton told detectives that Amaya had been fussy all morning and suddenly started having breathing difficulties, becoming unresponsive. He also mentioned a previous hospital visit two weeks prior when Amaya had fallen and hit her head on the carpet. Milton initially suggested that this fall might have caused his daughter’s injuries.

Amaya’s mother was reportedly at work when the fatal injuries occurred. Tragically, after six days in the ICU, Amaya succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead on August 6. The hospital’s Child Protection Team concluded that her injuries could have resulted from violent shaking.

In a subsequent interview, Milton admitted to occasionally being “mildly aggressive” with Amaya. He explained that the scratches on her face were from him wiping her tears too harshly. He also confessed that the day before her hospitalization, he had become frustrated with Amaya, yanked her by the arm, picked her up, and gave her a “bear hug” with her nose and mouth pressed into his chest. He admitted to placing one of his hands on the back of her neck and squeezing while she gasped for air.

Doctors informed the police that the lack of oxygen to Amaya’s brain could have resulted from the bear hug. The final cause of death has not been officially released. Milton is currently held in the Marion County Jail on an $80,000 bond as the prosecutor’s office finalizes formal charges.