A father is behind bars for allegedly killing a 6-week-old baby. Sources tell KHON2 the baby was his own son.
Paramedics were called to the Mokuola Vista apartment building in Waipahu at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.
They found 6-week-old Gabriel Membrere unconscious. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
The Medical Examiner’s office is releasing little information about the extent of the baby’s injuries, but say he suffered trauma to his head.
A next door neighbor — who did not want to be identified — said she heard yelling coming from the apartment.
“I just threw the trash bag and was walking over here and I didn’t want him to see me,” the neighbor said. “He kept shouting and shouting and saying a bad word. I thought he was drunk.”
The baby’s father, identified as 38-year-old Joel Asuncion, is now being held for murder in the second degree. He turned himself in to Honolulu Police Wednesday night.
Asuncion has a criminal history including felony charges for burglary and theft, and misdemeanor charges for family abuse.
The Department of Human Services offered condolences to the family and said deaths like this are a reminder “…that the entire community needs to be vigilant and report suspected abuse…”
They say for confidentiality purposes, they are unable to confirm if Asuncion has other kids or if anyone from the Asuncion-Membrere family had been previously investigated by Child Protective Services.
“That is sad. If you can’t take care of your child then you shouldn’t be having a child,” neighbor Connie McKeague said. “To have a child is a blessing.”
Police and the Medical Examiner’s office are continuing their investigation into the murder of the baby boy.