CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - A Rhea County man is charged with trying to kill his baby boy.

Overnight, Chattanooga Police arrested 19-year-old Dakota Eldridge for trying to smother his 12-week-old son Daniel at Erlanger Children's Hospital.

Eldridge had brought Daniel from Rhea County with multiple ailments.

Hospital staff noticed a change in the child whenever Eldridge was close by. 

"The baby's heart rate would go down and back up, down and back up, Chattanooga Police Sgt. Jerri Weary says.

"He was taking his fingers, placing them over the child's nose so that the child could not breathe."

Police say Eldridge admitted as much before they charged him with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

"I was blinded by the fact that I wanted to be with him (Eldridge) so much that I couldn't put two and two together, like everyone else did," says Daniel's mother, Carrie Woodruff.

Eldridge first met his son Easter Sunday, Woodruff says. She'd broken off her relationship with Eldridge four months into her pregnancy.

Eldridge is being held in the Hamilton County Jail on $1 million bond. He's due in court, Tuesday June 7.