Hillsborough County
David Gee, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 10-235

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • August 11, 2010
    • Contact Person:
    • Deputy Larry McKinnon : lmckinno@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813-247-8094

    Child Dies At The Hands Of Those Who Took Care Of Him

    Child dies due to aggravated abuse and neglect by parents.
    • Thursday
    • August 12, 2010
    • Time: 10:08 AM
    • 14023 Lemon Valley Place
    • Tampa, FL


    Baxley, John Taylor DOB 11/02/06 (DECEASED)
    14023 Lemon Valley Place
    Tampa, Fl 33625


    Garwacki, Justin DOB 03/05/84 (Biological Father)
    14023 Lemon Valley Place
    Tampa, Fl 33625

    O'Connell, Kara DOB 04/21/89 (Girlfriend)
    14023 Lemon Valley Place
    Tampa, Fl 33625

    CHARGES: (Both)

    Aggravated Child Abuse
    Child Abuse
    Neglect of a Child
    Failing to Report Neglect of a Child


    On August 10, 2010 at approximately 9:34 p.m., deputies were dispatched to 14023 Lemon Valley Place for a report of a 3-year-old child who was not breathing. Deputies and Hillsborough Fire Rescue personnel responded and found an unresponsive child who suffered from extensive trauma to the body.

    The child was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for treatment and died a short time later. Homicide detectives have determined that the child has been residing with his father and the father's girlfriend, Kara O'Connell, for approximately one month after Garwacki picked up the child from Missouri and brought him back to Tampa.

    While the child resided with his father, he had been the victim of aggravated abuse and neglect by both suspects. In addition, neither suspect sought any medical care or assistance after he was injured until authorities were summoned on the reported date.

    The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.
  • Sheriff David Gee
    Sheriff David Gee
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