New details in baby's alleged sex assault, death

JACKSON COUNTY, WV -- We're learning new details about the gruesome death of a 9-month-old baby.

Benjamin Taylor is charged with first degree murder after he allegedly sexually assaulted Emmaleigh Barringer.

On Thursday, Taylor made his first court appearance, where we learned more about the alleged circumstances surrounding her death.

Taylor's girlfriend told deputies she found him in the basement with the toddler on Monday.

It was dark, and she allegedly found her boyfriend shirtless, his pants unzipped.

Emmaleigh meantime was found lying naked and unresponsive on a pile of blankets and laundry. Her body was previously described by investigators as being swollen and covered in blood.

The baby was rushed to the hospital for treatment. Doctors reportedly told investigators that Emmaleigh had been strangled and suffered extensive head injuries.

The baby died in her mother's arms on Wednesday.

Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs says the story has shocked a nation.

"This story has reached far and wide," Boggs says. "I think it's affected everyone that hears it and again, I don't know if there's words to describe it, ya know, take care of your kids."

Jailhouse recordings purportedly recorded Taylor apologizing to his mother in telephone conversations, but he denies having molested the victim.

Deputies said, however, that Taylor confesses he had "done something bad."

Taylor has requested a preliminary hearing and a court-appointed attorney.