Steven C. Dykes, age 44, was arrested in connection with the death of 3 month-old Olivia Dykes. The call to 911 came in at about 6AM on Thursday, February 19, 2015. Olivia’s mother Melissa Schrool was getting ready to leave to start her new job leaving Dykes to care for their child. According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Dykes came outside the residence at 6312 71st Street North in Unincorporated Pinellas Park holding Olivia yelling that she was dead.
Deputies arrested Dykes in the vicinity of his residence at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 21, 2015 for Murder in the First Degree. He was subsequently transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.
According to the Sheriff’s Office they believe the crime occurred sometime between the late evening hours of Wednesday, February 18, 2015 and the early morning hours of Thursday, February 19, 2015.
Here is the timeline according to Sheriff’s Office investigators.
33-year-old Melissa Schroll returned from a job interview at about 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. While she was away, the baby, 3-month-old Olivia Dykes was in the care of her father 44-year-old Steven Dykes.
Detectives say the baby was asleep when Melissa returned home. Melissa and Dykes went to sleep at about 7:00 p.m. and were awakened by Olivia crying at about midnight. Dykes allegedly got up to feed the baby and subsequently returned to bed. According to investigators, Olivia began crying again at about 12:30 a.m. and Dykes once again supposedly got up to tend to the child.
Detectives say when Melissa got up at 4:15 a.m., she saw the baby and believed she was asleep. At about 6:00 a.m. she stepped outside of the house, when Dykes suddenly came out holding the baby and screaming she was dead. The baby was unresponsive.
911 was called. Emergency Services responded and Olivia was transported by ambulance to St. Petersburg General Hospital where she was pronounced deceased.
Detectives began their investigation and say it was evident that the baby had sustained trauma to her head, face and feet. The Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and further determined that the child suffered multiple skull fractures.
Through their two-day investigation via surveillance and various other investigative techniques, detectives determined that Steven Dykes had caused the injuries to the child through holding her by her feet while causing blunt trauma to her head.
The investigation continues.
Gary Robertson was the man who invited the family to move into his two bedroom condo at the Villas of Bonnie Bay. Robertson met Dykes working at Sam’s Club in St. Petersburg. Dykes told Robertson that he was dying from brain cancer and only had a short time to live. Robertson was still grieving after recently losing his mother along with the nurse that was caring for her. Dykes along with Melissa and one child moved in to the condo in March of 2014. Olivia was born in November of 2014.
On the morning of the murder, Robertson witnessed the entire scene at 6AM. He described Olivia’s appearance and the chaotic scene. Melissa began CPR on the child and yelled for Dykes to call 911. According to Robertson, Dykes not only refused to call 911 but instructed him not to call as well. Mom agreed to take a polygraph exam, however, Dykes refused according to Robertson.
Melissa is still staying in the condo and came out to speak briefly. She showed a recent photo of Olivia on her phone and began to cry saying “She did not look like this the last time I saw her.” Both Melissa and Robertson spoke highly of the work done by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office resulting in the arrest of Dykes.
A crew member arrived from the City of Pinellas Park Fire Department with a bouquet of flowers as Melissa addressed the media. The same shift that arrived to treat Olivia was on duty today. The entire crew is also having to deal with this heinous crime.