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Boyfriend facing sex assault charge in toddler’s death

Updated Monday, June 15, 2009 | 4:34 p.m.

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William Marshall

Toddler found dead in trash bin

Metro Police officers investigate after a dead baby was discovered in a trash bin Wednesday behind the Kona Loha Sierra apartment complex. Launch slideshow »

A man accused of killing his girlfriend's toddler daughter is now facing a charge of sexual assault in the case, Metro Police said Monday.

William Marshall, who is in the Maricopa County jail after his arrest at a Phoenix area Motel 6 over the weekend, is accused of murder and sexual assault with a minor under 14 years of age, police said.

FBI agents and Phoenix law enforcement officials found the mother, 22-year-old Darrean Williams, and her boyfriend, William Marshall, 37, in Tempe, Ariz. late Saturday night, police said.

The toddler has been identified as 21-month-old Shia Travis, whose body was found in a trash bin in the 500 block of Sierra Vista Avenue about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, as two homeless men searched through the garbage for aluminum cans, police said.

Lt. Lew Roberts, chief of Metro Police's Homicide Section, said that when the tot's body was discovered, no one saw the "severe, blunt-force trauma" to the girl's head before she was removed from a trash bin.

The girl's body was found wrapped in a pillow case that detectives later matched to another one on a bed in Apartment 67 at 560 Sierra Vista, police said. That apartment had been rented by Williams and Marshall.

The child wore a diaper with a Winnie the Pooh design, size 4, and homicide investigators later found the same type of diapers on a coffee table inside the apartment.

Police had been called to that same apartment on May 20 on a domestic dispute call, law enforcement records indicated. One of the officers on the earlier call recognized the lifeless child taken from the trash bin, records said.

Although a television and lights were on inside the apartment, detectives didn't find anyone inside after they searched the residence. They found hairs that matched the child's in the bedroom and in the freezer of an empty refrigerator.

The Clark County Coroner's Office said it could take up to three months before autopsy results on the girl are complete.

However, an autopsy on Thursday revealed that the girl had died from a blow or blows to her head from fists or from being thrown against a wall. She had also been sexually penetrated, according to a police report.

The girl's mother is not facing charges, police said. But that could change once police complete their investigation, Officer Jay Rivera said today. The mother could face neglect or other charges, police said.

According to a police report, the girl's mother already was in the Phoenix area, where she worked as a prostitute, and had left her daughter with Marshall. She didn't know her daughter had been killed until Saturday night.

Marshall is expected to be extradited from Arizona to face the charges in Las Vegas, police said.

If he agrees, he could return to Southern Nevada this week. If he fights extradition it could take up to a month, police said.

Marshall has no known criminal record in Southern Nevada. Law enforcement in Arizona also said that he had no prior convictions in the Phoenix area.

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