AP NEWS

Murder, molesting charged in girl’s death

November 6, 2018

An Albion man arrested last week in the death of a 21/2-year-old girl was formally charged Monday with murder and child molesting.

Trevor L. Wert, 42, told investigators Railee Ewing woke him up by turning on a bath tub faucet early Thursday. He said he became enraged and struck the child’s head and face multiple times and kicked her in the buttocks as she was trying to leave the bathroom. This caused her to slam into the bathroom door frame, court records said.

Wert told police that after he beat her, she became silent and he changed her diaper and covered her body and head with a bathrobe, leaving her bare feet exposed.

Wert told police he had taken Railee and other children trick-or-treating Wednesday night and returned with them to his Railroad Street home in Albion. His ex-wife, who lives with him, left about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday to go to work. At that time, the children were asleep, court records said.

Railee’s mother called 911 at 7:23 a.m. Thursday, saying she had picked Railee up at Wert’s home. The mother told police Railee had gotten up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, fell and hit her face against the bathtub. There was blood on the bathroom floor, the mother told police.

The mother told police she would be taking Railee to a doctor and that the child’s body was limp when she was placed into a car seat. An ambulance met her near U.S. 6 and Indiana 9 and took Railee to a hospital, court records said.

Railee was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:47 a.m., officials said. She had bruises and tearing consistent with injuries from physical and sexual abuse, and her death was ruled a homicide, court records said.

“Investigators and medical personnel have remarked that this was one of the most brutal abuse cases they had seen,” a news release from Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman said.

Wert was in Noble Superior Court on Monday for an initial hearing. He faces 45 to 65 years in prison if convicted of murder and 20 to 50 years if convicted of child molesting, Blackman said. Wert was initially charged with aggravated battery and battery to a child.

jchapman@jg.net

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