This story was originally reported on by Emily Braun. It was adapted for print by Cyanne Dunn.
A Homosassa man was charged with killing his 16-month-old son Thursday morning.
Cody Eugene Wygant, 24, confessed to suffocating the child, according to an ABC Action News article, after the infant’s crying distracted him from playing Xbox.
Wygant told deputies he covered the child’s mouth and nose for three to four minutes before placing him in a playpen and wrapping him in multiple layers of bedding, according to the arrest report.
Because Wygant tucked the bedding under the child’s body, he was unable to properly breathe. When Wygant checked on him five hours later, the infant was blue and not breathing.
He was pronounced dead at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center.
Three children died as a result of child abuse last year in Citrus County. This time, though, detectives could act quickly, Citrus County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Heather Yates said.
“This is a very hard thing to deal with as an investigator,” said Yates, “and our investigators did a fabulous job from the beginning to ensure that they found out what happened to this child, which led to this man’s arrest the same day.”
Wygant is being charged with third-degree murder and willful child neglect, according to the article. Wygant has no prior arrests in Citrus County but has been charged with crimes such as trespassing and rape in California.
Wygant and the infant’s mother also have a three-month-old daughter who has been placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families, according to ABC.