OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – Opelika police are calling the murder of a baby girl a soul-crushing case, as a 19-year-old Opelika father is facing murder charges in the death of his child identified as 2-month-old Maliyah Stormi Smith.

Opelika Police Chief Shane Healey says on Tuesday, September 14 at  11:40 AM, Opelika Police Officers responded to the East Alabama Medical Center about a deceased child. 

“Officers learned that an unresponsive two-month-old black female was brought to the emergency room by her father at approximately 11:00 AM that day. Medical staff attempted life-saving measures but were unable to revive the child. Detectives began a death investigation which resulted in the victim’s father becoming a suspect,” said Chief Healey.

On Thursday, September 16, Demarcus Treias Smith, 19 yoa from Opelika, AL, was arrested and charged with Murder. Smith lives with the child’s mother who is not a suspect or person of interest in the death. The couple did not have any other children. Investigators believe the child was fatally injured at the couples home in the 3500 Block of Birmingham Highway.

“These types of cases just steal a part of your soul,” said Chief Healey.

The Opelika Police Department would like to thank the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, and Lee County Coroner Bill Harris for their assistance in this investigation. This case remains under investigation by the Opelika Police Department. If you have any information, please contact the Detective Division at (334) 705-5220 or the Secret Witness Hotline at (334) 745-8665. Tips can be submitted through our Opelika Police Mobile App. You may remain anonymous.