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Updated November 8, 2017

A Pennsylvania man has been arrested and charged in the sexual assault and murder of a toddler.

State police say the twenty seven year old man from Sullivan County attacked and then murdered an eighteen month old baby girl.

Jeremiah Cordell of Forksville Pennsylvania has been charged and is being held without bail for the sexual assault and murder of an eighteen month old Bradford County infant. The attack occurred in September of 2015 in the town of New Albany Pennsylvania. The identity of the victim has not been released due to her age and the nature of the crimes. Her body was found in her own bed.

State troopers say that their investigation also concluded that the child had suffered “traumatic head injuries consistent with both impact and shaking.”

Medical examiners found signs of sexual assault, indicating that she had been raped by the man her mother had trusted to watch her. Authorities say that DNA tests have proved that the Pennsylvania man’s semen was on the child victim, as well as on a towel and an outfit that the little girl had worn the night of the incident.

Police haven’t commented on why it took so long to arrest and charge Cordell, but they have acknowledged that his story has changed multiple times since being interrogated back in September. First, he claimed to not know what happened to the child, but then he claimed that he may have accidentally dropped her when he was taking her for a bath. The Pennsylvania man has been identified as the fiancee of the child victim’s mother

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Reaction to the crime has stoked strong emotions within the community of New Albany.

One mother, Natasha Burns, said “It was pretty disgusting when we found out what happened recently to that baby. I don’t think any baby deserves that at all. He should stay where he’s at is what should happen. He shouldn’t be allowed out at all, especially for doing that to a little baby.”

A woman who asked not to be identified said “I have a granddaughter and a grandson, so if anything like that should happen to them, I’d probably kill the person who did it.”

“I was shocked, so was my mom and then guys and my dad was like whoever did that should be murdered themselves because that’s sad that someone would do that to a baby,” said New Albany resident Jasmine Burns.

Lacey Johnson, also of New Albany commented “I feel like what he did was wrong and something should be done, severe punishment for what he did. He was wrong. He should get what he did to that little girl, that’s my opinion.”

Cody Hall, a friend of the family of the victim said “I know the grandmother of the baby who was killed and hopefully he does get put to jail for life.”

Jeremiah Cordell faces a number of charges including Second Degree Murder and Deviant Sexual Intercourse. He was due back in court for more preliminary hearings on July 3. The trial will be held in Bradford County.

If this man is found guilty, what do you think his punishment should be? Share your ideas with us here.