5-Month-Old Girl Allegedly Abused By Father Dies

COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — The 5-month-old girl allegedly abused by her 25-year-old Coon Rapids father has died.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Department said the child died at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, after suffering traumatic brain injury.

Joshua Allen Vanhoutan had been charged with first-degree assault and two counts of malicious punishment of a child. With the child’s death, officials say the charges will be re-visited by the Anoka County Attorney’s Office.

According to the criminal complaint, Vanhoutan called the child’s mother while she was at work the morning of May 11 and told her something was wrong. He said their child was unresponsive and her arms were frail.

The child was taken to Mercy Hospital and then transferred to Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Police were contacted after it was discovered that the child had retinal hemorrhaging and bleeding on the brain, which they suspected was due to being shaken.

Vanhoutan admitted to investigators that he had been playing with the child and her twin in the living room that morning when one of them started fussing. He told police he shook her because she would not calm down.

He told police he didn’t call a doctor when his daughter became unresponsive because he couldn’t afford to miss work.

Vanhoutan remains in custody at the Anoka County Jail.

  • marie

    you heard about this alot, sorry don’t feel for you.

  • was it worth it?

    sounds like he missed work anyway. too bad for the kid, parents like this shouldn’t be parents at all.

  • willie

    boy it got me emotional. i had my son when i was that age. glad i PASS THAT.cant imange dong that innocent child,.. I feel for the baby not the abuser killer..

  • Carol

    It is amazing you have to go through a background and interview to adopt an animal but anyone can have a precious child.

    • eastside_evil

      I understand the anger and agree with it, believe me. I have 5 children of my own.

      But I have to ask about the statements people make about how you have to do a background check to adopt a pet but not to have a child, and how the government should institute forced sterilization, as if that can happen.

      So let’s be clear. To the people making those comments, what is your suggestion about the solution?

      What process should people have to go through before they can have a child, Carol?

      Or were you just venting your anger, and did NOT mean to imply that we shouldn’t be free to procreate without the government’s say so?

      • dah-der-dolt

        Yes i believe some shouldnt be able to procreate, but its impossible to stop, if a woman has 2 fatherless children i don’t thimk she needs a 3rd that i support. Honestly i didn’t think normal people had 5 children

        • momof5

          I have 5 kids and a family that was at the dr office while I was there with my son came in and they had 6. I grew up in a family with 6 kids, I don’t know what you mean by you didn’t think normal people had 5 kids, that is a stupid statement and you really need to think before you make a comment like that. All my children have the same father, my husband. We are very blessed that God put each and everyone of our kids in our lives. Is is always easy, of course not, there are many times I wonder what in the world were we thinking, but then I look at one or all of my kids and they smile at me or look up at me and say I love you mommy and my heart melts and it erases any doubt in my mind that each and every one of my children are here for a special reason. My family doesn’t live off the gov’t, my husband works 40 hrs/week, as do I. We are very lucky that my mother and father live in the same town and my mom babysits for our 3 little ones while the other 2 are in school. My husband and I work very hard to provide for our children, we own our home, we have 2 cars, our 2 older children are active in sports, and all our kids are well mannered and respectful. I like to think my husband and I are normal so you are wrong in thinking normal people don’t have a lot of kids. Our kids keep us young and they remind us what life is all about. So just because you don’t think it is normal for someone to have 5 kids don’t assume those of us who do have a lot of kids are anything but normal

          • Deb

            I know of people who shouldn’t have ever been parents, but it is their right and no one should be sterilized. Talk about too much government! The people who live behind me have 12 kids they range from 26 down to 6 and the mother home schooled the older kids straight thru high school, The younger ones are stopping home schooling when they are of middle school age and then they go to public school. All are well taken care of. Have manners and are well educated. They are the kind of people who should have children. They could right a book!
            I feel sorry for the Mother as she lost her baby and I also feel sorry for the dad. What a terrible act he will carry thru his whole life. Anyone who has had a child knows they can push your buttons, But 5 months old? I’m sure dad was pushed to his limit, probably too young to be a father and no doubt they have money problems. It’s just a terrible situation all the way around. This happens way too much and I think there could be a solution if anyone cared to think about it beyond just judging this guy.

        • Pate

          So five kids is too many? Tell that to my parents who successfully raised five productive law-abiding children and received eight beautiful grandchildren for their hard work.It’s the rotten few that ruin it for the rest of us.

        • seriously?

          did you think before making that statement? I came from a family of 6 kids, mom stayed home, dad worked in the factory. We sure didn’t have anything fancy but we did have parents who worked very hard for us. and be careful before slamming all single parents. I have been there and knew many who are very intelligent and hard working. and maybe sometimes it’s better to be a single parent than to be with an abusive partner, don’t you think? please don’t be so quick to judge

          • Valerie Knosalla

            I see many of you are upset by the 5 kids being to many. That was then when you grew up, times are different now. Everything is harder for people, none of those comments were to offend the ones who take cares of their families, but the ones who are over populating and living on government assistance. you all are saying “i came from a family of 6……, thats great for you, but now in 2011, the unemployed single moms and dads having 5 or 6 kids living on welfare and then killing them. um, yeah. the government should step in and make them stop populating.

            • father

              Not all families with 5 kids or more are on welfare stupid. I have 10 kids work two jobs and my wife does day care. Yes time are tough but we are managing. Plus this is not about how many kids poeple have it is about some stupid person shacking his young daughter to death. This or any taking a young life like that should be put on a chain gang and clean up all the ditches until they die. Why waste Tax payers money to sit in jail.

            • spud

              I understand what you are saying. I come from an area where it isn’t uncommon to see a single mom hauling around 4 kids with another on the way. Sad. And yes, most are on government assistance. The world is overpopulated and is getting worse every day. But yet Americans want to keep having 4, 6, 8, and even 12 kids. Very unresponsible. We’ll eventually procreate ourselves to death. But these “I want 6 kids’ people just don’t realize it.

        • Jody

          No everyone is asking for your support, if the father who left the woment with the children paid there support we wouldn’t have a huge wefare problem. I’m a single mom who ALways paid my way. Didn’t ask for your help!

      • Duh!

        Wow there is a lot of stupid people around here. People saying 5 kids or more is too many. If they are productive members of society, I say why not?! The more productive members of society, the better. All those people saying having more than 5 kids is stupid, I would like to know what you think of your grand parents, and great grandparents then. I bet 100 bucks they had more than 5 kids. Would you tell them they are wrong? I didn’t think so…

  • Jeff

    Yep. I think the old German regime was onto something when they were sterilizing people. The majority of our population should be. Nice job, Joshua. Hope someone shanks you in the shower at St. Cloud Prison.

    • eastside_evil

      Umm, Jeff…. No they were not “onto something with the idea of government-forced sterilization.”

  • Ryan

    He’ll get a couple years………….piece of turd

  • red

    betcha feel geat now that you killed your daughter over missing work loser!

  • http://childabuseheadlines.com/2011/05/16/child-abuse-news-51611/ CHILD ABUSE NEWS 5/16/11 | Child Abuse Headlines.Com

    […] MN- 5 MONTH OLD GIRL PLAYING WITH HER TWIN, DAD SHOOK HER BECAUSE SHE WOULDN’T CALM DOWN, ALLEGEDL… He told police he didn’t call a doctor when his daughter became unresponsive because he couldn’t afford to miss work. […]


    Rot in Jail forever….

  • Victim Du Jour

    He killed so much love he could have had in his life.

    I don’t get how parents can’t figure out how to put the baby in a safe place and let them cry, as long as the baby is a safe place, clean and fed. What’s so hard about letting them cry in a crib by themselves?

    Just step out of the house, and go somewhere you can’t hear crying if it’s that bad.

    • gin's

      I couldn’t agree with you more on your comment. If the baby is crying uncontrollably, just put them securely in a crib and shut the door. Let the baby cry itself into a temporary sleep, not a permanent one!

  • Murph

    He’ll be very popular with the hardened criminals that will use and abuse him in prison!

  • Mama J

    To the mother.
    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  • zee the reporter

    Im going to have to kick your ass! zee reporting in!

  • gin's

    VERY SAD, and it happens way too often!

  • Kathie Gannon

    Have any of you people ever heard of birth control?

  • BoredSecurityGaurd

    Stories such as this make me want to believe in the Radical Islam way of life sometimes…..the whole “eye for an eye” thing they do over there. I think that they should strap this guy to a giant paint mixer and shake the $hit outta him until he starts bleeding from his tiny, inadaquate brain….then slowly let him die that way…

  • m. Simmer

    everybody’s arguing about family size and their own views on family sizes? The point here is a 3 year old and 5 month old have died at the hands of their supposed care-givers. Nice way to go out at 5 months and 3 years old. And some of you are right we can’t pick and choose who’s going to have kids. But these mal-adjusted morons should never be around innocent children again !!!

  • Jake

    My guess is that he was crying, as anyone who lost control and made that horrible mistake would do. Uncontrollably.

    There is a reason there is such a big campaign to warn people about shaking babies. Not everyone is well suited for the stress of a baby that will simply not stop crying. If you’ve encountered it, you know it can be extremely frustrating. If he was already tired or stressed about money or any other range of things, it wouldn’t take much to lose it.

    It would be easy to jump on the bandwagon of people calling this guy a terrible person, and he might be for many reasons. But there is also a chance that he is a decent person who tragically lost control for a moment. he will be punished by the law, but worse, he will have to live with this the rest of his life. It brings me no pleasure.

  • Aquila SweetSweet Rogers

    Another baby enters heaven….even though she didn’t get a chance to live her life and she died in a tragic way, at least she doesn’t have to worry about the problems we, who are still here, have to face.

  • snap...

    You know, there is something really wrong here.. not only is it being negative comments, but also prejudice and im not just talking about in a racial sense… even though im sure a lot of remarks posted here are racially motivated… why would anyone say something as to people not being normal and living on welfare with 5+ kids. i am a very proud father of 4 kids and no im not in the same household as my oldest 2.. Why? because i was young and their mother was a few years older than me and the situation became unbearable so i made the difficult decision to get out of it.. my kids never, EVER been on welfare and i dont owe 1 red cent for child support because i work a decent job everyday and supports my kids to the fullest.. and both my ex and current partner, whom ive been with since i left my ex, works very hard and supports their families with help from no government agency… so me, as a minoritythat already lives with being labeled and judged and categorized by negative publicity and stereotype takes offense to the ignorance of people negative comments… maybe you should take a look at yourself and judge because im sure you have skeletons in your closet…. hmmm

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