Mother’s Boyfriend Charged In Connection With Baby’s Death


Pictures provided of 18-month-old Leah Sowards show her at a happier time.

Her final moments, revealed in a 911 call, are her mother's frantic attempts to save her.

Dispatcher: "Are you with the child right now?"

Caller: "I'm with the mother, yes."

Dispatcher: "O.K., is the child breathing? I can't -- she's too hysterical -- I can't get her to answer my questions."

Caller: "Is she breathing? Is she breathing? Yes, she's breathing."

According to police, the baby’s mother's boyfriend, Joseph Fultz, can be heard on the 911 call.

Fultz is now accused of causing the injuries that led to the baby's death.

"She was laying in her pack and play, and I went upstairs to check on her. And she had blood coming out of her mouth -- and that's when I started freaking out,” said the 911 caller.

But Columbus police said Fultz' story changed.

According to court records, detectives said he later admitted to throwing the crying baby.

"When she became fussy because of a soiled diaper, this upset Mr. Fultz. That resulted in him throwing the child into a couch, causing her head to collide with the armrest," according to the police report.

Fultz is charged with felony assault and child endangering, and is being held on a $250,000 bond.

Other charges are pending.

Relatives said doctors at Nationwide Children's Hospital removed the baby from life support on Friday morning.

The baby’s organs were being harvested before the infant’s body is taken to the coroner’s office, where an autopsy will be performed.

The baby's maternal grandfather said the baby's organs will be donated to seven others -- a young life still touching others in her death.

To help with funeral costs, the family has set up the Leah Sowards Memorial Fund.

Donations can be made at any Huntington Bank Branch.

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