Police: Chandler infant dies from beating - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Police: Chandler infant dies from beating

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Posted: Monday, September 14, 2009 11:00 pm

A 3-week-old Chandler girl died Monday from injuries she received in a beating, according to police.

Isabella Hopf succumbed to her injuries - which included skull fractures, brain swelling, broken ribs and sexual assault - mid-afternoon.

Brian Hopf

Detective David Ramer, a Chandler police spokesman, said child abuse charges against the girl's father, Brian Hopf, 25, will be amended to homicide. According to court documents, Hopf told investigators he poked the girl in the eye Sept. 7 when she slipped from his grasp.

He also told them she hit her head on a door jamb when he slipped and fell with her in his arms.

Isabella's death is the third child death Chandler police have investigated since Aug. 26.

On that day, a 2-year-old boy who was in the care of his mother's boyfriend was found dead. The 20-year-old man and the boy's mother gave police conflicting statements. No charges have been filed.

According to court documents, the child died while the mother was in the hospital giving birth.

On Aug. 31, Schala Vera, 3, was beaten to death with a belt. Her mother, Susan Witbracht, 26, and her mother's boyfriend, Dauntorian Sanders, 23, have been each charged with first-degree murder.

According to court documents, Sanders told investigators he and Witbracht have beaten the child with a nylon belt since June.

Sanders said he beat her more forcefully than usual the day she died.

She had bruises on her legs, arms, torso and head that were consistent with a belt and belt buckle, police said.

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