//Valdosta arrest for death of 8-month-old baby

Valdosta arrest for death of 8-month-old baby

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VALDOSTA – A 22-year-old Valdosta resident has been arrested following the death of his 8-month-old daughter.


Arrested: Peyton Gaines, African American male, 22 years of age, Valdosta resident

On May 13, 2022, at approximately 10:13 pm., Valdosta Police Officers responded to a residence in the 1700 block of Williams Street, after Peyton Gaines called E911 to report that his 8-month-old daughter, was not responsive. Officers and Emergency Medical Services Personnel found that the baby did have a pulse, but she was taken to the hospital for further treatment. The baby was later transported to a hospital in Florida.

On May 15, 2022, Lowndes County Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS), contacted Valdosta Police Department detectives, to advise that medical staff determined the baby was brain dead and there were injuries consistent with non-accidental trauma. Detectives immediately began working with DFCS to investigate the incident.

On May 16, 2022, the baby was pronounced deceased by medical staff. The baby was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy was performed on May 23, 2022.

The Medical Examiner found internal abusive head trauma, which is consistent with the baby being shaken violently.

On May 24, 2022, detectives obtained arrest warrants for Gaines for murder in the 2nd degree (felony) and cruelty to children in the 2nd degree (felony). After the warrants were obtained, Gaines was taken into custody at the Valdosta Police Department.

Detectives worked closely with Lowndes County and Florida DFCS, the District Attorney’s Office, the Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Child Protection Team from the Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital.

“This was great teamwork by several organizations that worked together to ensure that this tragic incident was properly investigated, and the offender will be held accountable. To think that someone could injure their child in this manner is heartbreaking.” said, Chief Leslie Manahan