Live

Watch CBSN Live

Charges dropped against Detroit dad accused of killing infant daughter

DETROIT -- All charges have been dropped against a young Detroit man who was accused of sexually assaulting and killing his infant daughter, CBS Detroit reports.

James Saltmarshall, 22, was charged in April with murder, first degree child abuse and first degree criminal sexual conduct following the 8-month-old girl's death at an Inkster hotel.

According to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, based upon a June 16 report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner, the child's cause of death was determined to be asphyxia and the manner of death was determined to be an accident.

Saltmarshall, who had been jailed on a $2 million bond, was then released on a GPS tether.

Top risks for SIDS differ by age, study finds

After an extensive investigation, including further forensic testing, it was determined that the baby had slept in an adult-sized bed beside her father. He accidentally rolled over onto her in his sleep, waking to find her unresponsive, and immediately dialed 911 for help.

Prosecutors say "in the best interests of justice" they moved to have the case dismissed. The motion was granted Thursday by 22nd District Court Judge Sabrina Johnson.

Although Saltmarshall is no longer facing charges, this tragic case is yet another reminder of the dangers of co-sleeping.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately 3,500 infants die in the U.S. each year from sleep-related deaths, including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and accidental suffocation. That number initially decreased in the 1990s after a national safe sleep campaign, but has plateaued in recent years.

View CBS News In