RICHARDSON, Texas -
A deaf Texas couple have been charged in the beating death of their 5-month-old daughter who was allegedly killed after an argument about who would care for the crying infant.
Hector Rene Cupich-Quinones, 35, and Maria Guadalupe Zuniga, 37, of Richardson, Texas, have been arrested and charged in the death of their baby. Both parents are deaf and mute, according to ABC News.
"It's sort of been my understanding that they can somehow detect or feel these vibrations and stuff like that and you still have some hearing, but not something to where you can make out anything," Richardson Police Sgt. Kevin Perlich told ABCNews.com. "They could sense when the child was upset and crying."
"Anybody would know if a child was crying or not," Philadelphia Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Cindy Christian told ABCNews.com. There are the tears and the babies make faces, so there are visual cues to crying aside from the sound.
Christian said that for deaf parents the trigger for frustration could be seeing the baby constantly crying or feeling the baby's distress when they hold the child.
"People who can hear would think that if you couldn't hear the crying, it would be less frustrating because what triggers us it that sound," Christian said. "It was probably something about what that baby was doing that triggered the same frustration and those feelings [in the deaf parents]."
Richardson police responded to a report of an unresponsive child around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday. When they arrived, the father had the child in his arms and the baby was "pale, not breathing, and had bruises on her arms," according to a police search warrant.
The officer performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took the child to a hospital. The hospital reported that the child had suffered "massive trauma to back of the head, bruising to the child's back, chest, and both arms," according to the warrant.
The baby died at the hospital.
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