A man who was baby-sitting a 7-month-old hours before the infant died last summer was arrested Tuesday in Mesa on suspicion of killing him.
Police arrested Justin Richard Sobolik, 25, on suspicion of child abuse and first-degree murder one day after medical examiners determined the death of his girlfriend’s baby, Logan Nicholas Balk, was a homicide, said Mesa police spokeswoman detective Diana Tapia.
Almost nine months ago, on Aug. 3, Sobolik was in charge of baby-sitting Logan at his girlfriend’s apartment at 1940 W. University Drive. At some point early that evening, Sobolik heard the boy crying. He told police that when he picked the child up, the boy’s body went limp.
Sobolik called emergency crews and Logan was taken to a nearby hospital where he died the next day.
On Monday, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the child actually died from “blunt force trauma to the head,” Tapia said.
The boy’s mother, Amanda Tareski, could not be located for comment on Tuesday. But her online MySpace page shows her motherly devotion to her son.
“Little Logan has been home for a couple of weeks now and despite my lack of sleep and sometimes grumpy mood, I couldn’t be happier to be a mom and to finally have my baby in my arms,” she wrote in January 2006. “I love him so much.”
It was the most recent posting on the page.
Sobolik has had other run-ins with the law in recent years — at least two involving young women, according to information from Mesa Municipal Court and police.
In 2005, he pleaded guilty to assaulting an 18-year-old woman in Mesa. Later that year, another woman filed a restraining order against him.
Friends and family of Sobolik could not be reached late Tuesday.