Sex assault charge added in case of baby found in trash bin

The man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby and dumping the body in a trash bin also is being charged with sexually assaulting the 21-month-old girl, Las Vegas police said today.

William Marshall, 37, was arrested late Saturday in Phoenix and charged in the death of Shia Travis, whose body was discovered last week by two homeless men rummaging through an apartment trash bin near the Strip.

Police said the toddler died from blunt force trauma to her head that occurred during a beating.

Marshall also has been charged with one count of sexual assault with a minor under 14 years old. Shia had sustained injuries “consistent with forced penetration,” according to the police report.

Authorities on Saturday also detained Darrean Williams, Shia’s 20-year-old mother, in Phoenix for questioning.

Williams isn’t facing charges, but that could change as the investigation continues, Metropolitan Police Department officer Jay Rivera said today.

“Right now, she has not been arrested,” he said.

Marshall will be extradited to Southern Nevada, police said.

Williams is a prostitute who traveled to Phoenix to work, her sister, Nicole Farmer, told police. Williams had left Shia in Marshall’s care when she went to Arizona, Farmer said in the police report.

Williams sent Marshall $900 early last week, according to the report. Marshall then bought a bus ticket to Phoenix for Wednesday.

Shia’s body was found inside a large pillow case Wednesday in the trash bin at La Mesa Apartments, 560 Sierra Vista Ave., near Swenson Street, according to the report. The toddler was wearing only a Winnie the Pooh diaper, the report said.

In Marshall’s apartment at La Mesa, police discovered the same type of diaper Shia was found wearing, along with a pillow case that matched the one in which she was found, the report said.

Two “softball size” dents were found in drywall in the bedroom, “consistent in size with a toddler’s head,” the report said.

Police initially dubbed Shia “Baby Jane Vista Doe.” They released a photo in hopes of identifying her. Neighbors recognized the baby in the photo as Shia Travis.

Her death is reminiscent of that of 3-year-old Crystal Figueroa, who in 2006 was found dead in a trash bin in a southeast valley apartment complex.

Police dubbed Crystal “Jane Cordova Doe” for the Villa Cordova Apartments where she was found. Weeks later, they identified her.

Crystal’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend were arrested and received life sentences for the slaying.

Contact reporter Lynnette Curtis at or 702-383-0285.