Suspect in Fort Worth death told police toddler fell in tub

This report includes graphic descriptions of physical injuries.

FORT WORTH -- A 20-year-old man arrested Sunday in the death and sexual assault of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter told police that the child fell while getting out of the bathtub, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained Monday.

Donald Ray Sparks Jr. was baby-sitting Brelynn Nobles and three of her siblings while their mother was at work Wednesday night, according to the affidavit.

The mother told police that Sparks called her to say that something was wrong with Brelynn. She told Sparks to call 911, the affidavit states.

When interviewed by investigators at Cook Children's Medical Center on Wednesday night, Sparks said that he had given the girl a bath and that she had fallen, hitting her head on the tub.

However, medical personnel reported that the girl had massive internal trauma, including severe injuries to her liver, spleen and pancreas. In addition, they noted vaginal tears and other signs of sexual abuse, the affidavit states.

Brelynn died early Friday morning.

An autopsy found vaginal and anal trauma, bleeding in the brain and stomach trauma, the affidavit states.

Brelynn's mother told police that her daughter was fine when she left for work.

Sparks was arrested Sunday and remained in the Mansfield Jail on Monday with bail set at $100,000. He was formally charged Monday with capital murder and aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Child Protective Services placed the girl's siblings with a relative. A CPS spokeswoman has said they appeared to be in good health.

DEANNA BOYD, 817-390-7655

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram