A 27-year-old New Jersey father is facing serious criminal charges after police claim he was involved in the death of his 2-year-old daughter.

According to police, the man was arrested in San Diego, California on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in connection with the child’s death. The infant was found in a New Jersey river after having been with the man for a court-approved visitation on Nov. 21.

Although police suspect he was involved, a friend told reporters the 27-year-old ate Thanksgiving dinner with his family and says he doesn’t believe the man was involved. According to a news report, the arrested man had been in San Diego for nearly a week.

The father was arrested after an estimated 40-member task force surrounded a residence in San Diego, according to a US Marshal’s Service spokesperson. His location apparently came from a tip received by the New Jersey police that was forwarded to California authorities. Concern over the child arose after she was not returned to her mother on the day of the visitation. The girl’s body was found the next day, according to authorities.

The issues surrounding this case are still in flux and police are investigating. The man was charged with murder and also faces a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, according to a news report. He is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The details of the investigation and the whereabouts of the man at the time of the incident may play a crucial part in protecting his rights.

Source: 10News.com, “NJ Man Accused In Daughter’s Death Arrested In San Diego,” Nov. 29, 2011