SALT LAKE CITY — A Monroe, Sevier County, father suspected of fleeing the state before he could be sentenced for his infant daughter’s death has been arrested in North Carolina, according to police.
David Lewis Anderson, 38, was scheduled to be sentenced in 6th District Court in Richfield on Sept. 5, but he didn’t appear, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest.
"He didn’t show up and we had received some hearsay that he had told someone he wasn’t going to show up to court anyway," said Sevier County Sheriff Nate Curtis. "We haven’t been able to make contact with him since."
Anderson was arrested Wednesday in Wilmington, North Carolina, after attempting to check into a homeless shelter, Curtis said.
An employee working at the shelter searched for Anderson’s name on Facebook. The search turned up a story by the Richfield Reaper about Anderson’s missed court date that had been shared by several residents in the area, according to Curtis.
The homeless shelter contacted police and Anderson was arrested without incident. Anderson is not facing any new charges in North Carolina, Curtis said, and police and prosecutors are now working to coordinate his extradition back to Utah.
Meanwhile, a woman Anderson has been living with and who traveled with him from Utah was questioned and released, Curtis said. Family members had asked police for a welfare check for the woman after they had been unable to reach her.
Anderson pleaded guilty in June to child abuse homicide, a second-degree felony, in the death of his infant daughter, Siri Alexis Anderson. A medical examiner said the girl died of dehydration and neglect on June 7, 2016, just one day short of her first birthday.
Anderson, who was Siri’s sole guardian in the weeks before her death, was arrested more than two months later.
Before dying of "dehydration due to neglect," a baby girl lived in filthy conditions under the care of her father, according to charges filed against the man Monday.
According to the charges, Anderson had stopped giving his daughter fluids, claiming he was transitioning her off of fluids to solid foods. The deprivation was combined with high June temperatures in the week leading up to her death, further dehydrating the girl, charges state.
Court documents describe Anderson’s home, 1080 N. Meadow Lark Lane, as unsanitary and neglected.
"The home (reeked) of the smell of urine and of cigarette smoke. … It was dirty and unkept," the charges state. "Unwashed dishes with food remnants and flies occupied the kitchen. A child’s card table was located in the dining area and still had the dried remnants of meals past stuck to it."
Siri’s crib, which was collected for evidence, was described in the same way.
The temperature in the home was also between 90 and 95 degrees.
Curtis said Friday that the shocking case has been painful for the community and everyone who investigated it.
"It’s been tough on everybody, there are no winners in this thing. It will be nice to get some closure and get it over with," the sheriff said.