Marine suspected of murdering toddler now in civilian hands

A New River Marine accused of killing a toddler last month in California has been transferred from base to the Onslow County Jail.

Joshua Kruzik, 21, is awaiting extradition on charges of murder and injury to a child resulting in death. He is accused of killing 18-month-old Audrey Allen, the daughter of Marines he was staying with while training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.

“Pursuant to an arrest warrant issued in San Bernardino County, Calif., and in accordance with Marine Corps policy, we transferred custody of Cpl. Kruzik to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department,” New River spokeswoman 1st Lt. Kristin Dalton said. “There, he will be processed for extradition to California where he will face criminal charges brought by local authorities.”

While Kruzik is “in the hands of civilian authorities,” he has not been discharged from the Marine Corps, Dalton said, clearing up an erroneous report from California authorities that Kruzik had been dishonorably discharged.

She said Kruzik has not been charged with any military offenses and remains on active duty but is pending administrative separation. The characterization of Kruzik’s discharge has not yet been determined and will be based on the entirety of his military record.

Kruzik, 21, a water pump technician, has been held aboard base since his Dec. 2 arrest.

While training in California last month, Kruzik was staying off-base with Marines Timothy Allen and Melissa Allen. On Nov. 20, Timothy Allen found his daughter in her crib and not breathing. He called authorities while Kruzik gave CPR to the child, San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops said in a new release.

Kruzik was questioned by detectives the day the child died, returned as scheduled to New River and was arrested after the child’s autopsy showed the child died of blunt force trauma.

Kruzik, originally from Lansford, Penn., joined the Marine Corps in 2007, completed a tour in Okinawa, Japan, and has not seen combat, according to base officials.

Contact Lindell Kay at 910-219-8456 or lkay@freedomenc.com. Read his crime blog, “Off the Cuff,” at http://onslowcrime.encblogs.com.

 

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