Father faces murder charge in death of baby in Belmont

A family is mourning the brutal death of a 3-month-old Belmont girl whose father is now charged with murder.

Police recently arrested 25-year-old Lawrence Johnson in the case. Authorities say cops responded to a 911 call Friday at 924 E. 181st St. where they found Jayla Johnson. The child was taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, saying the 3-month-old suffered blunt force trauma to her head and her brain hemorrhaged.

Neighbors say they are shocked to learn about the incident. They say they never had any indication something was wrong with the family, which includes a 1-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl. A relative says the child?s mother is distraught and she wants to leave the case to the courts.

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