Authorities: Arkansas man sought in death of infant arrested; 20-year-old faces murder charge

A 20-year-old Arkansas man accused in an infant's death was arrested in Oklahoma on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Reagan Levi Phifer faces a first-degree murder charge in the months-old case. The 3-month-old girl was taken to a Northwest Arkansas hospital July 27 with broken ribs, a broken fibula and brain injuries, Farmington Patrol Capt. Mike Wilbanks said.

Phifer told authorities then that he was watching his girlfriend’s daughter at a residence on Kelsey Lane, about 15 miles outside Fayetteville, and that the infant gasped as he changed her diaper. He said he than ran to a neighbor, who administered CPR and called 9-1-1, according to Wilbanks.

The infant was later transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where she died July 28.

According to hospital records handed over to police, some of the girl's injuries were older and had begun to heal. Wilbanks said the infant was healthy at a doctor's appointment in June.

After receiving an autopsy report from the state Crime Lab, police charged Phifer with first-degree murder and issued a warrant for his arrest Tuesday.

He was found in Colcord, Okla., later that day, according to Delaware County Sheriff Harlan Moore.

At 3:45 p.m., the 20-year-old remained at Delaware County jail awaiting extradition to Arkansas.


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