A member of the Lummi Tribe is facing a federal murder charge after allegedly crushing his infant daughter’s skull last weekend.
Lawrence Virgil Tom, Jr. is charged with second degree murder. The incident happened at a Bellingham address, but on Lummi Tribal land, making it a federal case.
According to federal court documents, Tom called 911 last Sunday to report his 6-month-old daughter wasn’t breathing. The girl was transported to the hospital where it was discovered she had a fractured skull. She died just before midnight Sunday.
Tom allegedly told an FBI investigator that, during the previous week, the girl had rolled off the couch and hit her head and also rolled off a mattress and hit her head on the floor.
An autopsy two days later by the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office found the girl’s skull was broken in several places and could not have happened the way Tom described.
During another interview with the FBI, Tom allegedly admitted he was home alone with his two daughters two days prior to the 6-month-old’s death. Court documents say Tom admitted he had gotten frustrated because he was tired and the baby would not stop crying. The investigator said Tom admitted to squeezing the child’s head between his right bicep and forearm until it made a popping noise. He claimed he didn’t know how badly he hurt the girl.
The investigator wrote that the medical examiner believes the injuries he found were consistent with the injuries that caused the girl’s death.