Sheriff's Office: New Smyrna Beach man arrested on charge of raping 9-month-old baby


Edwin WrenVCBJ mug / Edwin Wren, 19, is being held without bail at the Volusia County Branch Jail on charged with sexual battery of a child and aggravated child abuse, felonies that could net him life in prison if convicted.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- A 9-month-old baby girl discovered Thursday afternoon to be bleeding profusely from physical trauma to her body was sexually assaulted, Volusia County Sheriff's investigators have concluded.

That night, investigators rounded up a 19-year-old man who had been left to watch the baby. Edwin Wren is being held without bond at the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach, facing charges of sexual battery on a person under the age of 12 and aggravated child abuse. Wren was living with the baby's parents, who sometimes left him to tend to the baby, according to the arrest report.

That was the case on Thursday, when the parents left Wren with the child while they ran some errands. Just before 3 p.m., Wren went to a neighbor's house and then shortly afterwards fled the area.

"The neighbor found the baby with blood all over the bottom half of its body and bloody towels and sheets on the ground," Volusia County Sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson said. She scooped up the injured baby and brought it to her home and then called 911 at 2:48 p.m. to report the incident, the spokesman added.

"My neighbor came down the road to get me because he's watching this baby," the distraught woman told a Sheriff's Office dispatcher. "...I went in there to check on the baby, and there's blood all over the diaper and it looks like the baby's been raped."

"My neighbor came down the road to get me because he's watching this baby," the distraught woman told a Sheriff's Office dispatcher. "...I went in there to check on the baby, and there's blood all over the diaper and it looks like the baby's been raped."

When deputies arrived at the home just southwest of the city of New Smyrna Beach to begin their investigation, Wren had already walked off. The baby, meanwhile, was transported by EVAC ambulance to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where she underwent surgery to repair the tears to her body.

Deputies, with assistance from New Smyrna Beach police and a Sheriff's Office helicopter, scoured the neighborhood looking for Wren. Several hours later, deputies followed investigative leads that led them to the nearby Walmart in the NSB Regional Shopping Center on State Road 44.

With assistance from New Smyrna Beach police, a deputy found a shirtless Wren in a bathroom stall inside the store, took him into custody and turned him over to investigators with the Sheriff's Office's Sex Crimes Unit.

During questioning, Wren claimed he had left the baby alone to go to McDonald's and that when he returned, he found the baby bleeding. But Sheriff's investigators checked the restaurant's surveillance system and saw no sign that the defendant had been there Thursday afternoon.

Afterwards, Wren declined to answer any more questions and was taken to jail, where he was booked in shortly after midnight. The baby remained hospitalized Friday.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office's Sex Crimes Unit at (386) 323-3574

child rape arrest.pdf1.38 MB

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as and Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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