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Baby found dead near Hwy 74 crash remembered as ‘a little joy’ as mother recovers from brutal attack

Photo courtesy of family

A young mother who was brutally attacked outside a local church Wednesday is recovering in the hospital. Her infant baby is dead. The father is in custody after all this led to a rollover crash on Highway 74.

UPDATE: RSO confirms the father in custody will be charged for murder

The family of Ashley Grome, 23, said she was parked with her one-year-old daughter in the lot outside Southwest Church in Indian Wells while she waited to meet her husband.

When he arrived, her family said he began viciously stabbing her, before taking off with the baby and reportedly driving off a cliff.

Police investigate vehicle outside Southwest Church

The two crime scenes are now clear, but for Grome's family, the pain is still fresh.

"Right now, it’s painful... Painful," said Chris Grome, Ashley's uncle. "Everybody’s hurting pretty bad."

Grome said his niece is 6 months pregnant with her second child.

"He was being combative," he said. "He attacked her and tried to stab her several times in the stomach and the throat. She fought him off and tried to protect herself."

Full details: Deceased child found near crash on Highway 74, investigation underway

Grome said his niece's husband had reportedly made threats to hurt her and her infant baby.

"He panicked, got in the vehicle, and I was told that he threw the baby in the vehicle," Grome said.

The baby, one-year-old Madalyn, is now dead.

"She was a little joy to have," Grome said.

One-year-old Madalyn (Courtesy of family)

Police said the assault is connected to a rollover crash that happened on Highway 74 Wednesday morning.

Authorities conduct investigation near crash site on Highway 74

"It has been said that he purposely ran off the road and when he did, he rolled the vehicle and the baby was ejected and killed," Grome said.

Authorities pull the vehicle up the mountain Wednesday night

He said Ashley is in the hospital recovering and is expected to be okay.

"She’s got some pretty bad cuts and wounds, you know, stabs," Grome said. He was left without words for his nieces husband.

"To be that violent where you’re going to plot and plan and try to kill somebody like that and purposely do that – and then to do what he did to an infant, a one-year-old infant, no," he said. "I don't really have much to say to him.​"

Police revealed on Thursday that the suspect Adam Slater, 49, of Palm Desert, will be booked on charges of murder after he is released from the hospital. Chris Grome confirmed Slater is Madalyn's father.

Ashley Grome has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for a funeral for Madalyn.

"My daughter was the absolute love of my life and she meant everything and more to me. Everything I did and everything I will do for the rest of my life is for her. She was beautiful and her smile was contagious, even after a bad day, she always cheered me up. She was taken from this world way too soon," Ashley wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Click here to donate

You can reach Jake on TwitterFacebook or email him at jake.ingrassia@kesq.com.

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Jesus Reyes

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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