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Dad Accused of Beating His 4-Month-Old to Death While Mom Went to Work, Then Claiming Girl Was 'Not Real'

“I don’t know how a father could do this to his child," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said

<p>Polk County Sheriff

Polk County Sheriff's Office

Jacob Kubai

The father of a 4-month-old girl has been accused with beating his daughter to death, authorities said this week.

Jacob Kubai was arrested in Central Florida on Tuesday and now faces four charges in connection with the death of his daughter, Willow Kubai, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said in a news release on Wednesday.

Kubai, 22, was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child, aggravated child abuse and two counts of knowingly abusing a child without bodily harm, the sheriff’s office said. Jail records reviewed by PEOPLE show Kubai remains in custody. It's unclear whether he's entered a plea in the case.

“Death investigations can often take many months before they are complete. In this case, the injuries to this beautiful baby girl were so severe that it left no doubt how she was killed,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. “I don’t know how a father could do this to his child, but I do know he should be locked up for as long as the law allows.”

Authorities allege the investigation began after Kubai brought baby Willow to the Bartow Regional Medical Center on Feb. 22 with “no brain activity and suspicious physical injuries.”

The baby was airlifted to Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla., where doctors discovered she “had a fractured skull, multiple layers of hemorrhaging to the brain, bruises, scratches, and broken ribs,” police said. The baby died two days later, authorities said.

An autopsy later showed the baby had “multiple blunt force trauma injuries” to the front of her head, a “swollen and hemorrhaged spine,” an “acute skull fracture” on the back of her head, as well as 10 rib fractures, the sheriff’s department said.

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Detectives spoke with Kubai and his wife Rebekah, but “neither was able to explain how Willow got her injuries," the sheriff's department alleges in the release.

Judd told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday that Kubai allegedly told investigators Willow was with him when he dropped off Rebekah at work around 5 p.m. local time. Afterwards, Kubai allegedly told investigators that he and Willow stopped at a Walmart before heading home. Then later that night at home, Kubai allegedly said he discovered Willow wasn’t breathing and he then took the baby to the hospital, according to Judd.

However, the sheriff’s office alleges security footage from Walmart showed Kubai was alone and Willow was not with him.

At first, Kubai appeared “totally lucid” during his interview with investigators, Judd said. But when Kubai was confronted about the alleged inconsistency in his Walmart story and investigators told him the charges he might face, Kubai began to deny to detectives that neither the baby nor his wife were even real, according to Judd.

“None of this is real,” Kubai allegedly said, Judd recalled at a press conference this week. “My wife’s not real, my baby’s not real.”

Judd alleged Kubai was “playing games” with investigators and showed “no remorse” and “no emotion” over the baby’s death.

The sheriff struggled to come to grips with Kubai’s alleged actions.

“Normal society can’t understand this kind of person,” Judd said. “Well, I can tell you from a great deal of experience that a lifelong law enforcement officer can’t understand this kind of person either.”

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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