An Ohio man who told police he put bags of garbage in his young daughter's room to mask the smell of her decomposing body was granted sole custody of the toddler during a divorce last year. Eric Warfel, 34, of Medina, a suburb south of Cleveland, was ordered held on a $1 million bond yesterday after being charged with abuse of a corpse. He was arrested Wednesday after a cable television technician was allowed inside his apartment to upgrade the service and found the body of 21-month-old Ember Warfel in her crib. A magistrate in Medina read from a report at the bond hearing that said Warfel told police Ember died June 18 and he hadn't informed family members or anyone else about her death.
The report said Warfel had put garbage in the girl's room to mask the smell and had moved into a motel with a 7-year-old daughter. Police found Warfel and the girl Wednesday at a shopping center in the Cleveland suburb of Westlake; a substance suspected to be cocaine was found during a search of Warfel's hotel room. An autopsy will be conducted to determine how Ember died. Additional charges are expected, police said. Warfel and his ex-wife, Malinali Galdamez, had another child who died. Five-month-old Erin Warfel died March 31, 2013, after being taken by paramedics to a hospital while in full cardiac arrest, according to an autopsy report. Her death was ruled as "sudden unexplained infant death." Read more on the case here. (Read more crime stories.)