Man is charged with manslaughter in death of 4-month-old daughter at Schofield Barracks

By ROSEMARIE BERNARDO | The Honolulu Star-Advertiser | Published: January 13, 2021

HONOLULU (Tribune News Service) — A 21-year-old man has been charged in connection with the October 2020 death of his 4-month old daughter at Schofield Barracks.

Elias Vargas made his initial appearance before Family Court Judge Peter Fong today via video from the courthouse cellblock at Circuit Court on a manslaughter charge.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office identified the baby as Rosalie Garcia-Vargas.

Autopsy results determined the baby died as a result of "multiple abusive traumatic injuries, " primarily head trauma, the police affidavit said.

At the hearing, deputy prosecutor Morgan Barham described Vargas as a military dependant.

His bail is set at $300, 000.

At about 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, police said the infant became unresponsive at a residence at 111 Little Drive in Unit 104 at Schofield Barracks.

According to a police affidavit, the baby's mother received a call from her husband at 11 :20 a.m. that their daughter choked while drinking milk from a bottle and stopped breathing.

Vargas told police he was feeding his daughter with the bottle when she began to choke. He said he then placed her on the ground and began chest compressions. While giving compressions, he called 911, the affidavit said.

When the baby's mother arrived home, she observed her husband administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation on their daughter.

The baby was taken by ambulance to Wahiawa General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The case was initially classified as an unattended death. Through an investigation, police reclassified the case Thursday to manslaughter.

Vargas told police he did not know what caused his baby's injuries.

The affidavit noted the baby's injuries were inconsistent with Vargas' account of what happened.

Police arrested Vargas Tuesday afternoon.

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