Dad of dead baby in crib pleads insanity to corpse abuse

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) – A man charged with corpse abuse after a cable technician found his young daughter’s decomposed body in a crib pleaded not guilty Monday by reason of insanity.

Eric Warfel, 34, entered the plea in Medina County, where charges against him also include tampering with evidence.

He was arrested July 29 after a cable man discovered 21-month-old Ember Warfel’s body. Authorities indicated the body might have been there for weeks. A medical examiner hasn’t yet ruled on how the toddler died.

Warfel, of Medina, a Cleveland suburb, is being held on a $1 million bond. He is expected to undergo a psychological evaluation before a Nov. 5 pretrial hearing.

Defense attorney Michael O’Shea has suggested there is more to the case than what has been released by police. Messages seeking further comment were left for him Monday after the arraignment.

The county prosecutor has said he expects Warfel will face additional charges related to drugs and alleged child endangerment.

Warfel was arrested while shopping with a 7-year-old daughter, days after he’d checked into a motel. Police said suspected cocaine was found in the room.

Another daughter of Warfel’s, a 5-month-old, died in 2013. A medical examiner ruled that the baby died of “sudden unexplained infant death.”

Warfel and Ember’s mother divorced in December. A judge awarded sole custody of the girl to Warfel, citing the mother’s drug addiction. Police have said the mother now lives in New York.

Officials have said Warfel is considered a flight risk because of comments he made to family members about leaving the state.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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