Bailey Salovich, 3, was flown to hospital in Jackson, Mississippi, where she died. The Meridian Star reports that her cause of death has not been officially determined, but police were told she suffered brain bleeding, a detached retina, and lungs full of blood.
She also had bruises, welts, and lacerations to her legs, bottom, and stomach.
The girl’s father, Joshua A. Salovich, 25, allegedly told detectives that he was teaching his toddler her numbers but when she refused to participate he became violent.
‘He said he would pop her with his hands on her butt and legs when she got a wrong answer…’ testified Meridian Police Detective Kevin Boyd.
‘(He said he) backhanded her several times in the stomach because she kept getting it wrong.’
He then allegedly beat the child with a cane until it broke, before taking up a phone charging cord, the court heard.
Boyd said that upon learning of his daughter’s death, Salovich said ‘I killed my child. I killed my child.'
Detective Thomas Abate told the court that Salovich had explained his actions to police as being for her own good, saying ‘the streets are hard... for her to survive she has to be hard, too.’
The Meridian Star also reports that Bailey’s mother, who was present at court, collapsed upon hearing the testimony.
Salovich was charged by the court with capital murder and will be held until trial.