MEDINA, OH (WOIO) - A father appeared in Medina Municipal Court Thursday morning after being charged with abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony.
34-year-old Eric Warfel was arrested after a cable worker discovered the decomposing body of a child in a crib in Warfel's East Reagan Parkway apartment.
Police believe the child is Ember Warfel, who was born on Oct. 24, 2013, but do not know when or how Ember died.
Authorities traced Warfel's cell phone to Crocker Park in Westlake.
That's where he was arrested Wednesday afternoon with his 7-year-old daughter.
After being questioned by police, the girl was placed with her grandparents.
During Warfel's video arraignment, his bond was set at $1 million cash or surety and an attorney was appointed to him. The magistrate said he was considered a flight risk and sent him back to the Medina County Jail. Warfel appeared lethargic and, at times, confused.
Magistrate Linda Leggett read from the prosecutor's request for high bond, saying, "By his own admission, the defendant put trash in the deceased child's bedroom to disguise the smell of the decomposing body."
According to Leggett, the investigation indicated the child had been dead for several weeks and Warfel hid the news from family members.
The document contained another revelation that could lead to a new investigation into a previous death.
Leggett read, "Further, another child of the defendant died in 2013 in Cuyahoga County." That 5-month-old's name was Erin DeLynn Warfel.
The mother of the child currently resides in New York, but Warfel has lived in the Medina apartment since 2014.
Recently, Warfel had been living in a motel.
At the complex, neighbors say Warfel had odd habits.
"The little girl would say, like, 'I gotta go get my sister. I gotta go get my sister,'" Heath Cutlip said.
"They would be walking in, like, 2, 3 in the morning. The little girl -- she was, like, 7," Kayla Morris said.
"It looked like he was a hoarder," Michael McFarland said.
Police say additional charges are pending.