Manslaughter investigation moves to fireman’s arrest

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Jose Dorta III implicated in the 2019 death of a two-month-old infant. (PHOTO: Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (May 12, 2020)

The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office made an arrest today in a nearly one-year-old investigation.

Concluding their lengthy and meticulous investigation, CCSO detectives arrested 33-year-old Jose Dorta III for aggravated manslaughter.

On May 20, 2019, CCSO deputies responded to a call for service in reference to an unresponsive, two-month-old infant. First responders on scene discovered that the infant was initially having trouble breathing and that prior to arrival, the infant stopped breathing all together.

As the infant was being stabilized and arranged for transport to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, the child succumbed to its injuries and was pronounced deceased.

Upon further investigation, to include evidence collected at the scene, witness testimony and the medical examiner’s report, Detectives with the CCSO’s Major Crimes Division were able to secure a warrant for Dorta’s arrest.

“This was an extremely distressing investigation into the death of a precious two-month-old baby for all involved,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “As an adult responsible for this child, Dorta failed to protect an innocent life. I am confident that through our investigation, the legal system will ensure justice for this victim.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by this tragedy. Despite an arrest being made in this case, we understand how painful the events of this day were and still are a year later. Our deepest sympathies and condolences. “