Cops: Florida man kicked girl, 3, in the head, killed her for getting out of car seat

Cory Hagwell and Destinee Merrell, jail booking photos

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (AP) – A murder charge has been filed against the boyfriend of a Florida woman whose 3-year-old daughter died after he is said to have kicked her in the head because she got out of a car seat.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release the new murder charge was filed Sunday against 29-year-old Cory M. Hagwell in the killing of 3-year-old Adelynn Merrell. He also faces child abuse charges.

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The mother, 23-year-old Destinee J. Merrell, is charged with being an accessory after the fact, child neglect and child battery. Both are jailed without bail and records don’t indicate if they have lawyers.

Investigators say Hagwell kicked the girl, locked her in a closet and took her body to nearby woods after finding her dead. The couple initially reported the girl missing.

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