Father Arrested after 8-month-old Daughter Dies; Family Had Lived in Car for Months

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Rutherford’s booking photo.


A father has been arrested for domestic violence and child abuse charges after his 8-month-old child died Sunday morning.

According to a release from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, deputies – along with other emergency responders – showed up to an area near Hickman and Delaware Roads just south of Waterford around 9 a.m. Sunday.

The mother of the 8-month-old girl had called 911 to report that the infant was not responsive.

Responders took the infant to Oak Valley Hospital, but the 8-month-old was soon pronounced dead.

Deputies found that the family – which includes the mother, father and four children aged 4, 3, 2 and the 8-month-old – all lived in a Mercury Grand Marquis for the past two months.

While investigating the case, detectives say they found evidence that suggests the father – 41-year-old Dale Rutherford – abused his children, backing up claims made by the mother.

Rutherford was arrested and now faces charges of domestic violence and child abuse.


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