For immediate release
July 7, 2023
Media contact: Albert Lea Public Safety Director JD Carlson at 507-377-5665 or [email protected]
Albert Lea man faces homicide charges in death of child
On July 6, 2023, at 11:43 a.m., the Albert Lea Police Department and Fire Rescue were dispatched to 504 James Ave., Apartment 104, in support of a 2-year-old child reported as unresponsive. Follow-up communications indicated that the child had fallen down the apartment stairs. Upon arrival, responders determined that the child was breathing. The child was later identified as Ahziyas Bellemy Solo-Dampha, age 2.
The child’s mother informed officers that she did not know what had occurred, as she had just returned home from work. She said her boyfriend, Austin Michael Navarro, age 24, was home with the 2-year-old and an infant. Fire Rescue observed Navarro leaving the scene with an infant.
Albert Lea police officers pursued Navarro, conducted a traffic stop, and arrested him for driving after revocation and child endangerment. He was transported to the Freeborn County Adult Detention Center.
First responders provided medical care to the victim and transported him via Mayo Ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health Center in Albert Lea, where he later succumbed to injuries.
A suspicious death investigation ensued.
This morning, July 7, 2023, the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide, caused by blunt force trauma.
Authorities are seeking additional charges against Navarro in support of the homicide, including second-degree murder.
The incident remains under investigation.
The mission of the Albert Lea Police Department is to enhance the quality of life in Albert Lea by providing excellent public safety services through leadership, integrity, and in collaborative partnerships with our community.