Indiana baby killed on his birthday, boyfriend charged

Brian Woeste
Brian Woeste
Nolan Helfrich, from his obituary
Nolan Helfrich, from his obituary

SWITZERLAND CO., IN (FOX19) - Prosecutors release new details in the murder of a Indiana baby boy.

On Thursday, Indiana State Police arrested Brian Woeste, 26, in connection with the death of his girlfriend's son, Nolan Helfrich.

Police say Woeste was watching the baby while his mother attended classes in Lawrenceburg.

Nolan Helfrich died at Cincinnati Children's Hospital back in January from injuries he sustained at his Ohio County home on his first birthday.

The investigation began on January 18 when state police detectives were called to Children's Hospital in reference to a seriously injured child.

According to court documents, Helfrich suffered "a traumatic head injury, a subdural hematoma, diffuse brain swelling and significant retinal hemorrhages."

In the report, doctors told investigators that the one-year-old also had other fractures to the ribs and upper arms.

Two days after he was brought to the hospital, Helfrich died.

An autopsy showed that Helfrich died of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, and torso. Police say those injuries were non-accidental.

During the time Michelle Helfrich was at school, police say the family computer history shows searches for "can a baby stomach pop from standing on him," "my one year old hates me," and "symptoms of internal organ damage in babies".

State police arrested Woeste Thursday afternoon in Switzerland County.

Prosecutors say Nolan Helfrich had only recently been returned to Michelle Helfrich and Brian Woeste.

When he was 2-months-old, Nolan Helfrich was admitted to the hospital with a broken femur. He spent the next eight months in foster care.

In November, he went back to live with Helfrich and Woeste in Rising Sun.

Woeste is currently being held in the Switzerland County Jail on charges of Murder, Battery Resulting in Death of a Person Less than 14 Years of Age, two counts of Neglect of a Dependent Resulting in Death.

He plead not guilty in court on Friday. He's being held without bond.

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