Man arrested for killing 17-month-old baby in Fort Myers October 2020

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Quintavis Tarver, 24. Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect of a child homicide has been brought into police custody.

Fort Myers Police Department arrested suspect Quintavis Tarver, 24, Friday for killing a 17-month-old baby in Fort Myers in October 2020.

According the FMPD news release, Oct. 9, police originally responded to a report of a child not breathing at a home in the 3300 block of Handy Court.

Police and EMS responded to a baby who was not breathing before taking the child to Golisano Children’s Hospital for treatment, where the child died Oct. 10.

“I look out the window, and there’s all kinds of police cars,” neighbor Lois Marroquin said.

Marroquin remembers the day their cul-de-sac was filled with flashing lights.

“There was the one guy sitting out, holding the baby,” Marroquin said.

Marroquin knew something wasn’t right that day. But until now, she didn’t know the baby was rushed to the hospital where the child died a day later.

“When I just saw it on my phone, what happened, it’s like, ‘Oh my, God,’ you know?” Marroquin said. “Because I’ve got grandkids. I’ve got kids. You know, my granddaughter’s birthday is today. You know, and it’s like, how could anybody do that to a baby? You know, you don’t do that to babies.”

Investigators learned Tarvis was the 911 caller for the child’s emergency. He was also identified as the boyfriend of the baby’s mother and caregiver of the child at the time of emergency.

Jan. 13, an autopsy report determined cause of death for the child was homicide, and police arrested Tarver.

Investigators are not saying how they believe Tarver killed the baby, saying the information will be released later through the medical examiner records.

While we were at the home where the child lived, we were able to speak to the baby’s mother. She said she was told not to speak about what happened, so we don’t know the child’s name or their gender.

We know Tarver has been arrested before. He  faced charges related to domestic violence previously.

Tarver now faces a charge for second-degree murder. He is in custody at Lee County Jail without set bond.

“I don’t care what the circumstances,” Marroquin said. “They can scream and cry all they want, but you don’t hurt a baby.”

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