Father sought in baby's death arrested

February 2, 2008 8:37:25 PM PST
The father wanted in connection with the death of his baby boy surrendered in Philadelphia. Travis Mullis, 21, walked into Police Headquarters in Center City on Friday afternoon.

Police in Galveston, Texas have been searching for him since the discovery of his 3-month old son on the side of a road this past Tuesday. An autopsy found that the boy was killed by head injuries before his body was dumped.

The child's death was ruled a homicide by blunt force head trauma, said John Florence, chief investigator for the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office.

Investigators say Mullis confessed to stomping his son's head repeatedly. After allegedly dumped his body, police say he Mullis drove across the country to Maryland where he has relatives. Then Friday night he headed here to Philadelphia and Police headquarters.

A couple looking for wildlife Tuesday morning found the body, clad only in a diaper, in a grassy area of the island city about 50 miles southeast of Houston.

Authorities said Mullis was last seen with the baby around 6 a.m. Tuesday, about three hours before the couple made a frantic 911 call to report their discovery.

While the child's mother has not said anything publicly about the case, she has been cooperating with police, Trevino said. She was at home Tuesday morning at the couple's trailer in Alvin, about 30 miles from where the baby was found.

Galveston Police won't release motive. A source here in Philadelphia says it appears the young father just lost it. The 21-year-old is also wanted by Texas authorities on a felony charge of enticing a child. For now, he remains here in Philadelphia as a fugitive awaiting extradition. Galveston Police plan to arrive here Sunday Morning.

The discovery of the baby's body comes just three months after a fisherman found the remains of a 2-year-old girl in a plastic box that had washed ashore in Galveston Bay. That child, dubbed "Baby Grace," was later identified as Riley Ann Sawyers of Spring.

Riley's mother and stepfather are charged with capital murder in her beating death.

(Some information from The Associated Press and ABC News.)