Injured Afghan vet arraigned in Watertown baby's death

Date: 2011-03-25

A 23-year-old Fort Drum soldier was charged overnight on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of the 4-month-old baby he and his wife were in the process of adopting.

Jeffrey A. Sliker, 112 W. Lynde St., was arrested about 2 a.m. this morning, according to a press release from city police. He is being held in the Metro Jefferson Public Safety Building and was arraigned today in Watertown City Court.

Sliker has been stationed since June 2008 at Fort Drum, where he is a private first-class assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 3d Brigade Combat Team, according to the post public affairs office.

A native of Middletown, R.I., he joined the Army in January 2008, and served in Afghanistan from January into December 2009. He holds the Purple Heart for an unspecified battle injury and various combat medals, badges and ribbons.

On Wednesday afternoon, Watertown city police, Guilfoyle Ambulance and the Watertown Fire Department were called to the West Lynde Street residence for an unresponsive 4-month-old baby, according to police. At the time, they determined, Laurne E. Clark, who was also known as Mollie E. Sliker, was deceased, police said.

On Thursday, Jefferson County Medical Examiner Dr. Samuel Livingstone performed an autopsy on the baby and determined her death was the result of a homicide, police said.

Mr. Sliker and his wife, who was not identified by police, were in the process of adopting Laurne, police said.

The Jefferson County District Attorney's office and Jefferson County Child Protective Services assisted in the investigation.

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