A man suspected of fathering four children with his teenage daughter faces charges of killing at least one after human remains were discovered at the rural home where the family once lived, authorities said Friday.
The 47-year-old man is charged with second-degree murder, endangering the welfare of a child, statutory rape, two counts of incest and two counts of abandoning a corpse.
Three of the children are now dead. The abuse of his now 19-year-old daughter allegedly began when she was 13, Cass County prosecutor Teresa Hensley said.
The Associated Press is withholding the suspect’s name to protect the identity of the teen daughter, an alleged sexual assault victim.
“For six years (the daughter) was under his control,” Hensley said.
The man’s arraignment was scheduled for later Friday and he did not yet have an attorney, authorities said.
According to court documents, the daughter told police he had fathered all four children, while the father told detectives he was certain two of them were his. Both said all of the children were delivered at home by the father and his wife. The wife is charged with endangering the welfare of a child for not reporting the alleged sexual abuse and is free on $10,000 bond.
The father was arrested Wednesday night in Daviess County after two sealed coolers with the remains of two infants were found. The third child is believed to have died in Oklahoma.
After receiving a tip from the sister of the 19-year-old, Cass County authorities in October used cadaver dogs to search the rural property. Nothing was found during that search, but on Jan. 1 new owners found the sealed coolers and contacted police.
The father is charged in the death of a boy born Nov. 17, 2006, and believed to have died of pneumonia on Feb. 28, 2007. Authorities believe the baby became ill and that the suspect and his daughter, who has not been charged, never sought medical attention.