A Salem man was sentenced to life in prison with parole possible after 25 years for the murder of his girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter.

David Gene Elliott, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of murder by abuse and third-degree assault in court Friday.

Prosecutors said he admitted to causing blunt force trauma to the abdomen of Aniya Zamora, leading to her death in April 2013.

He also admitted causing injury to another 5-year-old child.

Elliott was the live-in boyfriend of the children's mother, 26-year-old Mercedes Alvarado. He was not their biological father.

Investigators said Aniya had been vomiting for three days when she was placed in a bathtub. Alvarado was in another room wearing noise-canceling headphones. When Elliott went to check on the girl, he found her floating face down in the bathtub.

The medical examiner determined that Aniya died of cerebral anoxia due to near drowning after blunt force abdominal trauma. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Prosecutors said Alvarado admitted to knowing her boyfriend was physically abusive toward the children.

She was convicted of first-degree manslaughter by a jury and sentenced to 10 years in prison in July 2015.

Elliott was sentenced to life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years before he is eligible for parole.

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