Ocean Shores father charged with murder in infant's death

Ocean Shores father charged with murder in infant's death
Patrick L. Parnel
OCEAN SHORES, Wash. -- Prosecutors say a newborn girl whose body was found in a wooded area near Ocean Shores was still alive when she was brought to the woods by her father, contrary to what the father originally told detectives.

Patrick L. Parnel, 21, has now been charged with second-degree murder.

Court documents say Parnel and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Brittany Taylor, didn't want anyone to know Brittany was about to deliver, so they went to an Ocean Shores motel last Wednesday. She gave birth over the toilet, and Parnel reportedly told detectives he dropped the baby in the toilet and cut the back of the baby's head with scissors.

Taylor told detectives she thought the baby was dead at birth and told Parnel to "take care of it" while she remained at the motel. Parnel took the baby to a wooded area a few miles away and covered it in leaves, court documents revealed Tuesday.

But in filing charges Wednesday, prosecutors said the baby was still alive when Parnel went into the woods. Upon further questioning, Parnel admitted to detectives the baby began crying, and he didn't want to leave the infant crying in brush, so he went back to the car and got an object to beat the infant, according to court documents.

The coroner had ruled Sunday the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The day after the baby's death, the couple went for a walk on the beach and smoked marijuana before going to Taylor's mother's house, court records show.

The couple stayed another night at the motel. They checked out on Friday morning, went to a liquor store and then went home.

Taylor has been charged with abandonment of a dependent person. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 25.

Parnel's next court appearance is scheduled for April 23.