MURDER INVESTIGATION: Man accused of punching toddler in stomach - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

MURDER INVESTIGATION: Man accused of punching toddler in stomach

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Investigators say the eastern Iowa man charged with murdering a 2-year-old admitting punching her at least 3 to 4 times in the stomach.

KWWL has a copy of the criminal complaint against Cody Stevenson from Williamsburg.

The complaint says Stevenson assaulted the child on Friday at 905 North Street, Apt. 23 in Williamsburg.

The complaint also says he "knowingly admitted and acknowledged to striking (the) child with a closed fist in the abdominal area at least 3 to 4 times thereby causing (the) child to die."

Investigators have not released the name of the victim, but a Cedar Rapids man said it was his daughter, Bella.

Chris Loffer told KWWL he found out that Bella was in the hospital on Monday.

He said he was told she was brain dead and that she'd never walk again.

She died the same day.

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A Cedar Rapids man said it was his two-and-a-half year old daughter that was murdered Monday in Williamsburg.

On Monday, July 3, Williamsburg police arrested 29-year-old Cody Stevenson and charged him with first-degree murder of a child

Chris Loffer, of Cedar Rapids, said the victim is his daughter, Bella. Williamsburg police, who have released little information about the arrest, have yet to confirm or release the identity of who Stevenson is accused of murdering but Loffer said he thought Stevenson was living with Bella's mother.

Loffer said he found out from a friend that Bella was in the ICU at the University of Iowa.

"They told me that I needed to get up there right away, and that I needed to spend as much time with her before she passed," Loffer said.

He was told that his daughter was brain dead, and that she'd never walk or talk again. There was nothing they could do for Bella anymore.

"The nurse came and talked to me and said that she had clavicle bones broken in two places that were healing, and that her injuries were caused by blunt force trauma which they thought was abuse," he said.

At the hospital, Loffer said he was told that the staff had to perform CPR on Bella for over an hour.

Loffer said he had been separated from Bella's mother since October and didn't know what was happening to her at home because, due to visitation issues, he hadn't seen her since January. He said the last time he saw her, she was happy. They had watched 'Moana' that day and Bella was brushing his hair.

But that's not the last memory Loffer will have of his daughter.

"She took her last breath in my arms. I rocked her as she was passing away. I sang to her her favorite songs that I always sang to her. That's the hardest part because that's the memory that's always going to be in my head. That last breath. That last little heartbeat."

The reality of what happened to Bella is hard for him. He said he feels like he failed his daughter by not knowing what was happening to her.

"I feel if I would have been able to see her maybe the outcome would have been different, maybe I could have noticed something," he said.

Loffer is hopeful that there will be justice for her death, and that other parents will fight to see their children after what happened to him.

Bella's mother declined to speak about it. She said she doesn't think she'll ever be able to talk about it. 

This is a developing story.  Continue to follow KWWL on air and online.

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