Lansing Man Charged in Murder of Baby Girl

By: Lindsay Veremis
By: Lindsay Veremis

A Lansing father is facing murder charges in the death of his baby daughter. It's a crime police are calling senseless and heartless.

Three-month-old Janayjah Sanders died Friday night. Her father, 37-year-old John H. Sanders was arraigned Monday afternoon in her death.

He's facing life in prison on murder and first degree child abuse charges.

"One homicide is one too many," Public Information Officer Robert Merritt, with Lansing Police said. " We always say that and believe in that strongly, but the senselessness of this... it's very sad, especially when you're dealing with an infant, a three-month-old."

Police aren't saying much about the circumstances of Janayjah's death to protect the case. She was severely hurt, but living when they arrived.

Doctors from Sparrow Hospital called authorities Friday afternoon, by Friday night the Janayjah was dead.

"Sparrow called police in this case because obviously it was an abusive injury, it was an assault, but Sparrow also called Child Protective Services," Child Abuse Expert, Dr. Stephen Guertin, with Sparrow said.

Guertin could be called to testify in the case against Sanders. He couldn't talk specifically about Janayjah's death but said, in general, doctors get police involved when they see characteristic injuries.

"Characteristic injuries involve their scalp, involve their eyes, their cheeks, their mouth, their neck," Guertin explained.

John Sanders was at the hospital when police arrived Friday afternoon, then arrested on probably cause.

The 37-year-old has served time for drug possession in Eaton County and for burglary in Oklahoma.

The baby's mother isn't facing charges right now, but police haven't said anything about her role in this.

Sanders is being held without bond. He will be back in court next week.


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