West Valley man charged in the death of 6-month-old
Crime • Baby was smothered by his mother's roommate, prosecutors say.
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A West Valley City man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his roommate's 6-month-old son after he allegedly smothered the boy in May.

Reed Wilcox, 29, was charged Friday in the boy's death after a months-long investigation prompted by doctors' assertions that a fatal injury to the baby's brain was caused intentionally.

Charging documents state that the baby's mother, who was living with Wilcox, left the boy in his care on the morning of May 26. A few hours later, Wilcox allegedly came into the woman's room saying: "There's something wrong with your baby."

The boy died a few days later at Primary Children's Medical Center. Doctors determined the injuries to the boy's brain were caused by a lack of oxygen that could have been caused by smothering. The baby would have had to go without oxygen for three to five minutes for such an extreme injury to occur, the doctor who performed the autopsy told police.

Court documents state that Wilcox's story of what happened while the baby was in his care on May 26 changed several times during interviews with investigators. He allegedly admitted that he had done Internet searches for such phrases as "baby suffocation," "SIDS" and "what to do when you are going to be interviewed by police."

At one point, Wilcox allegedly told police "I didn't smother him," even though detectives never mentioned that scenario. He also allegedly said that the boy's death wasn't accidental and that what he did was "extremely stupid."

Wilcox was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Friday and is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond.

kbennion@sltrib.com