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Pekin man charged with murder after death of his 9-week-old child

A police car's lights, which are on. The text "WCBU Police and Fire" are laid on top of that photo.
Joe Deacon
Tazewell County Courthouse, Pekin

A Pekin man charged with inflicting injuries leading to the death of his 9-week-old daughter will remain in the Tazewell County Jail overnight Thursday.

Hunter R.E. Waters, 19, was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of first-degree murder and five counts of aggravated battery to a child.

According to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by WCBU, Waters told Pekin Police he was alone in his bedroom with the infant from around 12:45 a.m. to 7:45 a.m. on Sunday.

The department received a 911 call Sunday morning reporting the child was being treated for “numerous serious injuries” at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. The affidavit details many injuries, including a fractured skull, broken ribs, and multiple hematomas and hemorrhages across her body. She was pronounced brain dead at 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood has identified the child as Addison Waters. He said an autopsy is scheduled for Friday, following "organ procurement for donation."

In the affidavit, police allege Waters admitted to “being frustrated, handling [Addison] in a rough manner, causing her head to flop backward and dropping [her] onto his bed from a few inches.” Police said medical experts called Waters’ statement “inconsistent” and determined the baby’s injuries were indicative of “inflicted child abuse.”

In a later interview with a Pekin police detective, officials allege Waters admitted to holding the 9-week-old “tightly around the rib cage and [striking] her head against his bedroom door.”

Waters appeared Thursday in Tazewell County Circuit Court, attending the pretrial detention hearing via Zoom from the county Jail. Representatives of the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office told the court they had filed a petition for detention.

Judge Chris Doscotch granted a continuance to Friday because Waters had not yet had an opportunity to meet or speak with Public Defender Luke Taylor.

Waters’ detention hearing is now set for 1:15 p.m. Friday.

Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.