22-year-old arrested for death of 4-week-old boy

WESTGATE, Iowa (KWWL) – Fayette County officials and the Iowa DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation) have arrested 22-year-old Dean Alan Hettinger today for murder and child endangerment causing death.

Photo courtesy of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office

On April 30th, 2018 the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) contacted the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) about a four week old boy with brain injuries. Iowa DHS reported that the child was taken to the Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner the night before when the guardians said that the child was “seizing.”

The child was then taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) in Iowa City. The FCSO reached out to the DCI for help and an investigation began. The victim was identified as Holten Smith who later died from his injuries on May 27th, 2018.

Iowa DHS officials stated that the child was living in rural Westgate, Iowa. One of Holten’s caretakers, 22-year-old Dean Alan Hettinger of Westgate, was taken into custody at the Black Hawk County Jail, where he was being incarcerated on unrelated charges. Hettinger was transported to the Fayette County Jail and is being held on a $1 million bond.

UPDATE: We’re learning more about the injuries a baby suffered in Fayette County. According to court documents, an autopsy revealed the 4-week-old boy had 36 rib fractures. Doctors say those injuries were consistent with inflicted trauma. 22-year-old Dean Alan Hettinger is accused of inflicting those injuries.

KWWL Staff

KWWL Staff

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