Fla. Dad Allegedly Confessed to Murdering 2-Year-Old Daughter by Cutting Her Throat: Police

Jeronimo A. Duran, 33, faces charges of murder and child abuse in connection with the death of his daughter, Melody Alana Rose Duran

<p>Broward Sheriff

Broward Sheriff's Office

Jeronimo A. Duran

Content warning: The following article contains disturbing descriptions.

A Florida father was arrested after authorities allege he killed his 2-year-old daughter.

On May 28, Jeronimo A. Duran, 33, was booked into the Broward County Jail on charges of murder and child abuse, online court records show. He is being held on no bond and has pleaded not guilty.

Duran’s arrest came after officers responded to a home around 9:42 a.m. on May 28 on a report of an injured child, according to a press release shared by the Pembroke Pines Police Department. When authorities arrived, they found a 2-year-old girl “bleeding profusely from her neck.” First responders rendered aid before bringing the girl to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Duran’s arrest report, which was reviewed by PEOPLE, details the moments before the girl was found. Just before 7:30 a.m. that day, Duran picked up his daughter — whose name is redacted in the public arrest report — from his ex-girlfriend's house and brought her to the home he shares with his grandmother.

When Duran's grandmother returned home from an appointment around 9:30 a.m., she allegedly discovered him in the kitchen lying on top of the girl, with the two facing each other, according to the report. She reportedly asked him what he was doing and told him to “get off.” Duran pushed his body off the girl and the grandmother allegedly saw that she was “blue in color and discolored,” leading her to call 911 in another area of the home.

<p>CBS Miami/Youtube</p> Police at the scene.

CBS Miami/Youtube

Police at the scene.

When the grandmother returned to the kitchen, she allegedly saw Duran kneeling over the girl, who was bleeding, according to the arrest report. The grandmother then "ran to her room as she did not want to observe anything further,” while Duran stayed in the kitchen and remained silent, the report states.

Duran's stepfather arrived at the home and gave the girl CPR before first responders arrived and rendered aid. A responding police officer reported that the girl had a “slit across her throat,” according to the arrest report. At the scene, detectives recovered a stainless blade black handle steak knife on the kitchen floor that had blood on the handle and blade. The report also states that the kitchen floor was covered in blood.

Duran, who allegedly had blood all over his body and clothing, was taken into custody by police at the home. During questioning, he allegedly admitted that he “suffers from mental illness” and had previously been committed to a facility under the state’s Baker Act, the report states, referencing a law allowing involuntary mental health examination and commitment.

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According to the arrest report, Duran claimed he stopped taking his antidepressant two weeks ago and began smoking marijuana, including on the day of the alleged murder. He allegedly confessed to choking his daughter until she was unconscious and claimed that when his grandmother left the kitchen, he sliced the girl’s throat with a kitchen knife, the report states.

According to court documents obtained by NBC Miami, the mother of Duran’s daughter moved out of their home in March 2023 after alleging Duran was “erratic, aggressive, violent and dangerous.” The daughter was identified as Melody Alana Rose Duran.

Duran and the mother of his daughter were in a custody dispute, but a parenting plan approved by a judge allowed him to care for his daughter unsupervised, per the documents obtained by NBC Miami. The mother opposed the agreement, claiming Duran was previously forcibly admitted to mental health facilities under the Baker Act, stopped taking his medication, and had “a history of hearing voices to end his life, some while the child was with him alone," according to the outlet.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Duran's attorney David A. Frankel wrote, "Jeronimo has suffered with severe mental illness his entire life. What happened and why may never be known. In a world of tragedy, this is especially tragic."

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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Read the original article on People.