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UPDATE: Slain baby lived in Norwalk

TNS Regional News • May 20, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Athena Castile, an 11-week-old baby from Norwalk, died Friday morning after being stabbed by her second cousin, police said.

Charged with aggravated murder is Denzel Castile, 19, of Sandusky. He is being held without bond in the Erie County jail.

The teen was to be arraigned Friday, but Sandusky police Chief John Orzech said the suspect was too combative and had assaulted two Erie County sheriff's deputies during the arrest Thursday night.

Castile, an undecided first-year student at the University of Toledo, was scheduled to be arraigned this morning at Sandusky Municipal Court.

The victim, Athena Castile, was born Feb. 27, 2013 in Norwalk, daughter of Jenisa Meishon Castile of Norwalk and James G. Williams of Erie, Pa.

The 11-week-old victim also is survived by her maternal grandparents, Katia Castile and Mike Stewart of Norwalk. Stewart was a star running back at Norwalk High School who went on to play college football at the University of Pitt and had an NFL tryout.

Athena lived in Norwalk with her mother and maternal grandparents.

"She had never been in Sandusky but that one time," Katia Castile told the Norwalk Reflector. "She lived here in Norwalk. That was the first time I let her go some place else."

A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in The Chapel, 156 South Norwalk Road. Interment will be in Woodlawn Cemetery.

The tragedy began Thursday after an unidentified female told a 9-1-1 operator that police were needed, but hung up after the operator asked what was happening inside the home.

"Our officers were just pulling up, ... and our officers are required to check to check on these 911 hang-up calls," the operator said.

Before the second call was disconnected, a large commotion with screaming could be heard in the background.

Inside the home, police found a melee with several people fighting.

One individual, assaulting someone who turned out to be the suspect, was Tased by police, the chief said. A woman in the house was struggling with the suspect over the baby; the suspect was able to get the child and ran into a hallway, the chief said.

An officer reported seeing the suspect had a knife and was stabbing the young girl. A family member was able to disarm Castile and then took the baby.

It was not clear how many times the baby was stabbed.

An officer then grabbed the infant and rushed her outside, where an ambulance was waiting. Paramedics took the girl to Firelands Regional Medical Center, where a medical helicopter was on standby. But doctors could not stabilize her in preparation for the flight, and she died early Friday morning.

The chief said Castile resisted arrest at the Dewey home and "ran aggressively" at officers who Tased the suspect.

The suspect was treated at a hospital and then booked into the jail where he remained Friday night.

"We're still trying to sort this out," Chief Orzech said. "There's not any real explanation that we've found at this point as to why he did what he did, or anything that was provoking him to do that with a child. We're just still trying to sort through it and get some answers and I don't know if we're going to."

The suspect, who was not cooperating with police, appeared to only have misdemeanor charges in his criminal background.

"Our understanding is that he was almost a straight-A honor student in high school," the chief said. "Everybody, the family and people who know him, are kind of in shock; that this is way out of character for him."

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Norwalk Reflector staff contributed to this story.


By Taylor Dungjen - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)

©2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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