Utah man charged in death of girlfriend’s baby

(Courtesy Cache County jail) Kyle Gooch

A Logan man was charged Tuesday with purposely smothering his girlfriend’s baby in December when the child wouldn’t stop crying.

Investigators spent months trying to understand what happened to Kynlee Jo Corbridge after she was found dead on Dec. 15, her face and head covered in bruises and abrasions, and tightly swaddled in a blanket in her bed, according to charging documents.

Forensic and circumstantial evidence point to 30-year-old Kyle Taylor Gooch, the boyfriend of the baby’s mother, who was the only adult home at the time the baby died, documents state.

Police built their case against Gooch after an autopsy reported the baby died in one of two ways: intentional smothering or accidental asphyxia. Multiple bruises and other injuries consistent with trauma were found during the exam.

Next, investigators went to child abuse experts, who said the baby’s injuries were “all indicators of physical abuse.” Another expert said it was very unlikely a 1-year-old child would accidentally asphyxiate in a crib.

One expert said the injuries would be consistent with rubbing the baby’s face back and forth on the mattress sheet while being smothered, according to court documents.

In interviews with police, Gooch denied pressing the child’s face into the crib and smothering her, saying that was “impossible.”

Charging documents quote him as saying he swaddled the baby tightly when she wouldn’t stop crying and placed her face-down in bed and left the room when she calmed down. The baby’s mother told police this was how Gooch normally dealt with the child when she fussed.

Gooch told police that when he went back into the baby’s room the next morning, he found her dead.

The baby’s mother was not at the house at the time Gooch swaddled the baby and put her in the crib. She said told police that when she returned later, Gooch was very drunk, she told police, and seemed “distant."

Investigators charged Gooch with aggravated murder in the baby’s death, saying he was the only one in the room with the child around the time she likely died, and that the bruises and abrasions on her body indicate forced smothering.

Gooch was booked into Cache County jail Tuesday. He is being held without bail. The Salt Lake Tribune was unable to reach Gooch’s attorney for comment, as one has not yet been listed in court records.

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