Greenwood dad sentenced to 15 years after attempting to drown his baby daughter

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Greenwood, Missouri, man pleaded guilty to child abuse more than two years attempting to drown his daughter in a frigid pond.

A judge sentenced Jonathan Zicarelli to 15 years in prison for the crime.

Zicarelli walked into the Greenwood police station a week before Christmas in 2018, and told officers that he drowned his daughter in a nearby pond. According to court documents, Zicarelli said he made the decision because he wanted to make it easier on his wife. He said he was stressed out due to the holiday and trying to provide for the family.

Court documents went on to say he confessed he drove to the pond, parked his car, walked down to the pond three separate times trying to determine if he could kill the child before placing the baby in the water and watching the child sink before leaving.


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Police rescued the baby who had been in the pond for about 10 minutes, according to court documents. When police found the child, her body temperature registered at 87.9 degrees Fahrenheit. A normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Zicarelli stated in an interview with Jackson County deputies he planned to kill his baby for over 24 hours after having what he described as “bad thoughts.”

During Zicarelli’s arrest, the Police Chief at the time assaulted him. Greg Hallgrimson pleaded guilty last month after he was indicted of violating Zicarelli’s civil rights.


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Hallgrimson was put on administrative leave by Greenwood’s Board of Aldermen following the assault. He then resigned in May 2019.

Zicarelli’s daughter spent a few days in the hospital following the attempted drowning before she was released.

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