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Child's death leads to charge against father

Jeremy Vermillion (Buy photo)

By Joe Beck

Authorities have charged a Woodstock man with endangerment of the life of a child as part of their investigation into the death of his 18-month old son earlier this month.

Jeremy Alexander Vermillion, 25, of 135 Valley Vista Drive, was released from the Shenandoah County Jail after a court hearing and posting $1,000 secured bail on June 19, according to authorities.

"We arrested the biological father, Jeremy Vermillion, and he has been charged with child endangerment," Woodstock Police Chief Eric Reiley said.

Nicole Dawn Miller, 25, also of 135 Valley Vista Drive, has been charged with child abuse and endangerment in the aftermath of the death of Vermillion's son. She is identified in court records as Vermillion's fiancée.

Reiley said Vermillion was arrested at his home on Tuesday and taken into custody with no resistance. Reiley provided few details about what led police to arrest Vermillion.

"I prefer to just to say it was a development in the case based on interviews and statements made to investigators," Reiley said.

"This a continually evolving case," Reiley added, "and we don't want to jeopardize anything by releasing information too quickly."

A criminal complaint filed against Vermillion by Woodstock police investigator Derek Good states that police went to Vermillion and Miller's apartment on June 3 for a report of a toddler not breathing. They found the boy with what Good described "as suspicious bruises covering the majority of the child's body."

The complaint adds that Miller was caring for the child at the time. Other court documents have stated that Vermillion was away at work at the time authorities accuse Miller of abusing the child.

Good's complaint states that Vermillion admitted during an interview that he had noticed seeing bruises on his son "days prior to the (June 3) incident; however he failed to render necessary medical attention to the child."

The complaint states that Vermillion told Good he assumed the child's injuries were self-inflicted.

Good's complaint adds that doctors at the University Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville who tried to save the boy's life said "it was impossible for a child of this age to cause such injuries to himself."

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com

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