GHT man arrested on murder charges in death of 8-month-old child

Becky Vargo • Nov 20, 2018 at 4:41 PM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — A 19-year-old Grand Haven Township man was arrested Tuesday afternoon on an open murder charge in the death of his girlfriend’s 8-month-old daughter.

The child, Scarlett Rae-Marie Burroughs, died over the weekend, according to Capt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office. She had been at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids since Nov. 15.

A forensic autopsy conducted Tuesday morning revealed that the child’s death was caused by cranial cerebral trauma. The manner of death is homicide, Bennett said.

Emergency crews responded to the home at 14547 Dogwood Court in the River Haven Village community in Grand Haven Township at about 2:10 p.m. Nov. 15. The call was about an 8-month-old child having a seizure.

An ambulance transported the child directly to the Grand Rapids hospital.

Bennett said deputies responding to the incident noted “some concerning factors at the scene.” Based on that, and on the initial medical evaluation at the hospital, detectives started an investigation, the captain said.

The child’s condition worsened over the next few days, until she died Nov. 17, Bennett said.

The detective said that the suspect had been watching the child on the afternoon of Nov. 15 while the girl’s mother was at work.

The suspect is currently lodged in the Ottawa County Jail. His name was not released pending his arraignment.

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