WINFIELD, Mo. (KSDK) - A Lincoln County man said he struck his girlfriend's three-year-old daughter alongside a highway because he was irritated with her after coming down from a heroin high, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

According to Captain Mike Huffman, a sheriff's office spokesman, deputies were notified April 19 of a possible child abuse/child molestation incident. The three-year-old's mother brought the child to St. Joseph West Medical Center for an injury.

The mother told medical personnel, and later police, that her boyfriend, Daniel Kittle, was watching the child when she was injured. Kittle said the child was playing on the stairs and bumped her head.

Huffman said medical personnel told investigators the child had extensive injuries to her face and head, as well as additional injuries to her arms, legs, buttocks and genitals. The attending physician reported the child's head injuries were so severe that she had nearly been beaten to death.

The three-year-old was transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis, and doctors there confirmed the child's injuries could not have occurred in the manner Kittle described.

Deputies later interviewed Kittle at the sheriff's department, where he told them he struck the girl twice in the head with his fist. Kittle said he pulled off the road in the area of Highway EE and Mansion Road. He denied having any sexual contact with the girl.

The Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged Daniel Kittle with first-degree assault and first-degree child molestation. Kittle remains in custody at the Lincoln County Jail on a $200,000 cash-only bond.

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