A man was arrested on suspicion of murder of and willful cruelty to the baby of a woman he was dating during the early morning hours of Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The 8-month-old boy had been left in the care of Tobin Phillips, 20, the evening of Monday, Jan. 2, while the mother went to work, according to a news release from the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

At about 11:30 p.m., KCSO deputies from the Tehachapi Substation were asked to assist the Tehachapi Police Department in a homicide investigation at an apartment in the 600 block of Cherry Lane, the news release said. The boy, whose name has not been released by police or the coroner, was found dead when deputies arrived.

Deputies determined the boy received injuries that caused his death, according to the news release. Deputies did not reveal the nature of the injuries.

Phillips fled before deputies arrived, the news release said, but he was found at Fastrip on Tucker Road two hours later.

Detectives interviewed Phillips and found probable cause to arrest him on suspicion of murder and willful cruelty to a child causing death, the news release said. Phillips was booked into the Central Receiving Facility.

Phillips is not the biological father of the baby, deputies reported.

This is the first homicide investigation conducted by the KCSO this year, spokesman Ray Pruitt said Tuesday. 

"The Coroner's office will determine if it is actually a homicide; we are investigating it as one and expect it to be determined as a homicide," Pruitt said.