An Irvine baby-sitter has been arrested, accused of beating to death an 8-month-old girl in her care, officials said Friday.
Sunhye Choi, 30, was arrested outside her home about 10:30 p.m. Thursday and held at the Orange County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder. Bail was set at $1 million.
Police said Choi was baby-sitting Nicole Jeong at Choi's Parkview Lane apartment Monday when the baby stopped breathing. Choi called her husband, who came home and tried CPR on the child before calling paramedics, police said. The infant was taken to Irvine Regional Hospital and Medical Center, where she died several hours later.
An autopsy conducted Tuesday revealed that the child had suffered a traumatic injury to the head, prompting a homicide investigation, Irvine Police Lt. Jeff Love said. Toxicology results may take about a month.
"There's probable cause to believe that [Choi] caused the death of the child," Love said. "The cause of death appears to be blunt force trauma, which is inconsistent with an accident."
According to the autopsy, the child suffered blows to the back of the head, Love said. He said the child was at home with Choi and Choi's 21-month-old daughter, who is in protective custody. An investigation is also being conducted to determine if Choi's daughter has been abused, Love said.
Choi and the infant's parents met at their church and live in the same apartment complex.
Choi's arraignment at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach is scheduled for Monday.