A Phoenix man who called 911 dispatch and said he had just beat his infant daughter faces one count of child abuse, according to court paperwork.
Officers said Jesse Miller, 29, also called his wife and told her he had injured his 18-month-old after smoking spice and hallucinating that he was in hell.
Spice refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana and that are marketed as "safe," legal alternatives to that drug, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The girl is in critical condition in pediatric intensive care at Phoenix Children's Hospital. The infant suffered facial bruising and a swollen lip.
"The injuries that have been sustained to this child are very serious," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.
"We believe that the suspect was literally beating this 18-month-old with a closed fist. (She) has some closed head injury and a brain bleed," Trump continued.
When police arrived at the home Wednesday morning, they discovered Miller and his infant had already left, court documents stated.
Officers said they found Miller at the hospital and he had fresh wounds to his hands.
During a police interview, Miller stated he was smoking spice in the bathroom while he had his baby in front of the TV set. Miller said he went to sit on the couch after smoking and was going "out of it," police said. He explained that "his soul left his body and he went to hell," according to the court document.
He said when he "came to," he heard his baby screaming and she was bleeding from the mouth, paperwork stated.
Tuesday, Miller's neighbors said they were surprised about what happened.
"He's a good working guy. He stays at home all day, and takes care of his daughter. (He) never leaves her alone or anything," said neighbor Ruben Pena-Puig Sr.
Miller is being held on $45,000 bond.
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1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Evansville, IN 47720