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Northern Iowa man accused of causing death of infant daughter

FAYETTE COUNTY - A Northern Iowa man is behind bars facing felony charges in the death of his infant daughter, whom authorities say died of asphyxiation and had meth in her system.

FAYETTE COUNTY – A Northern Iowa man is behind bars facing felony charges in the death of his infant daughter, whom authorities say died of asphyxiation and had meth in her system.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance from Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), State and county medical examiner’s office and the Fayette County Attorney’s Office conducted an 11-month investigation, culminating in criminal charges against Joshua Rueben Christen, age 33 of Postville, in the death of his four-month-old daughter.

On September 2, 2022, the Fayette County Sheriff’s office along with the Elgin Ambulance service responded to a residence on 245th Street North of Elgin for a 4-month-old female unresponsive and not breathing. The child was transported to Palmer Hospital in West Union where she was pronounced dead.

After an investigation, it was determined that Christen, while caring for the child, was under the influence of a narcotic. An autopsy revealed that the child had methamphetamine in her system at the time of death. Police say it was determined that the defendant knowingly acted in a manor that created the death of his 4-month-old daughter by the means of asphyxiation.

Joshua Christen has been in the Fayette County Jail since May, 3 of 2023 on unrelated charges and is awaiting his initial appearance in court on the new charge of felony B child endangerment causing death. If convicted, could he face up to 50 years in prison.

This case remains under investigation and more charges may be filed at a later date.

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