A 23-year-old Alexandria man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 5-month-old daughter, who died Sunday of skull fractures, Arlington police said yesterday.

Alberto G. Garcia of 3821 Milan Dr. was arrested Monday evening after being questioned for several hours by Arlington homicide detectives, said police spokesman Tom Bell. Garcia was being held yesterday in Arlington Jail in lieu of $150,000 bond.

Detective Chuck Shelton said Garcia took the infant, Maria, who was born Oct. 17, to Alexandria Hospital about 5 p.m. Sunday, and she was declared dead 10 minutes later. An autopsy Monday determined the cause of death to be several skull fractures, police said.

The autopsy did not determine what struck the infant. "The blows to her head could have been caused by anything, including a fist," said Bell.

Police said they believe Maria was beaten while in her father's Volkswagen van in the area of 20th Street and Rte. 1 in Crystal City. Bell said Garcia was waiting with the baby to pick up his wife Sara from work.

Officials had little information about Garcia and his family. They said he was born in Brownsville, Tex., grew up in Mexico and moved to this area less than a year ago. Bell said investigators believe Garcia works for a local janitorial service.

Garcia has two other young children, and investigators said yesterday they believed the toddlers were in the custody of the Alexandria Social Service Department.

Garcia, who does not speak English, was arraigned yesterday before Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Andrew B. Ferrari. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing April 30.