Dad, girlfriend charged in toddler's homicide

Posted at 1:27 PM, Mar 04, 2016

The father of 3-year-old Hailey Miku and his girlfriend have been charged in the homicide of the toddler.

The child's father Mathew N. Miku, 22, was charged with murder and child endangering.

Miku's live-in girlfriend Jessica L. Bender, 21, was also charged with child endangering. 

Officers were called to Dewalt Avenue around 11:15 a.m. Friday for a report of an unconscious child.

When paramedics arrived, Hailey Miku was already dead. 

Canton Police Capt. Jack Angelo said there appeared to severe blunt force trauma to the child.

Angelo said bruising and cuts all over the toddler's body appeared to have happened over time, but there were also signs of fresh injuries. 

"Whether it would have been from hands or an object, that will be for the coroner to decide," Angelo said.

In the 911 call obtained by from police, a man claiming to be the child's father said the girl fell down the steps a week earlier and now she would not wake up. When the dispatcher asked if he wanted to attempt CPR on the child, the man said no since she was not breathing and she was very stiff. 

Mathew Miku is being held on $1 million bond. Police said the pair have no prior criminal history.

A 5-year-old living in the house was also taken into custody by Child Protective Services. The child is not a sibling of the 3-year-old and police said he did not have any apparent injuries.

The grandparents of Hailey Miku have started a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. 

Police said this is the third homicide in Canton this year.