Hamilton County father indicted for first degree murder of 11-month-old daughter

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. — A Hamilton County man, who is currently behind bars, is now indicted for first degree murder and child neglect.

30-year-old Nicholas Peter Merrill is accused of murdering his 11-month-old daughter, Malaysia Merrill.

The Chattanooga Police department says Merrill took his daughter to T. C. Thompson Children's Hospital on July 23rd, 2023.

CPD says the child was dead when they arrived at the hospital.

Assistant Police Chief Jerri Sutton says an autopsy shows hyperthermia led to the child's death, which is caused by exposure to high temperatures.

The autopsy report we obtained says Merrill claims he left the child in a car seat from 1 a.m. until 2 p.m. That's 13 hours.

The indictment accuses Merrill of purposefully neglecting and killing the child.
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“Any time there’s a loss of a child, it’s just a very tragic event no matter if it’s by natural means or by accident or by some other means,” he said.