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A Buckfield man was charged with depraved indifference murder and manslaughter in the 2020 death of his 2-month-old daughter.
Following a 13-month investigation, Trevor Averill, 27, formerly of Turner, was indicted by a grand jury and arrested at his home in Buckfield on Wednesday afternoon, according to Shannon Moss, spokesperson for the Maine State Police.
On July 22, 2020, Androscoggin County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call about an infant in medical distress at 592 North Parish Road in Turner, Moss said. Trevor Averill’s daughter, Harper Averill, was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland where she later died of her injuries.
It marks the fifth time since early June that a Maine parent has been charged in connection to their child’s death. The four deaths that happened this year prompted a fresh round of scrutiny for the state’s child welfare system and an outside investigation into the deaths.
Last month in Milo, Reginald Melvin, 28, was also charged with depraved indifference murder in the death of Sylus Melvin, who was born July 28.
In Penobscot County, Ronald Harding, 36, of Brewer is charged with manslaughter in connection with the June death of his 6-week-old son. A few days later, the 3-year-old daughter of Hillary Goding, 28, of Old Town died after allegedly ingesting drugs that belonged to her mother. Goding is charged with manslaughter and depraved indifference murder after allegedly waiting 20 hours to seek help for her daughter.
Jessica Trefethen, 35, of Stockton Springs was charged in June with the depraved indifference murder of her 3-year-old son, Maddox Williams.
Last week, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services released details about 143 child deaths that came to the agency’s attention. In all, 30 children died from homicides, 26 died in accidents and 35 died while co-sleeping with adults since 2007, the report said.
Correction: An early version of this story misstated the number of alleged killings by Maine parents this year.