TACOMA, Wash. - A Tacoma father is accused of beating his 2-year-old daughter to death because she refused to eat. The toddler died Thursday morning, her father already faces assault charges.

Police are waiting for the autopsy of a 23-month-old girl they say was shaken and hit by her father.

Autorities will likely upgrade the assault charges against the 25-year-old father to Murder 2.

Police say the father had recently begun taking care of two of his children in the evenings while the mother worked. Last night at about 7:30 p.m. at the Cyrus Cove Apartments in Tacoma, police say the father got frustrated when the youngest child refused to eat her dinner. They say he admitted to shaking the little girl and hitting her.

When paramedics arrived they found the toddler in bad shape. She died Thursday morning at Mary Bridge Hospital.

It's hard for police, the family this community everyone is generally upset by it, says Tacoma Police spokeswoman Gretchen Aquirre.

The father will be arraigned Friday.

The other child who was at home at the time is now in protective custody. Court records tell a troubling story of this family. There was a protective order against the man. There was a court date set for next week that would have dismissed the order.

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