An man is accused of raping his eight-month-old daughter then killing her in a cemetery, according to court documents.
Ruby Franciscovich’s tiny body was found floating in a pond in the graveyard in Tioga, upstate New York.
The mother of the child had phoned police on Sunday morning, telling a dispatcher the pair had gone missing from the motel where the family had been living for several months.
While state troopers searched for the pair, a separate 911 phone call steered officers to a location near the motel, where the baby’s father was found walking naked along the road.
After the officers questioned him, Cody Franciscovich, 25, led them to the cemetery where baby Ruby was found face-down in a pond about 25ft from the water’s edge, police told media, reports the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin.
She was later pronounced dead in hospital.
Franciscovich appeared in Tioga Town Court where he pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge.
He has not been formally charged with rape, however, documents filed in court reportedly outline allegations that he carried out a criminal sexual act and raped his daughter before deliberately killing her.
He is being held on bail and is due back in court on Friday to face charges, which hold the possibility of life behind bars.
A vigil for Ruby is being held at the cemetery where she was found on Monday, where mourners were asked to wear red in her honour.