MUNCIE —A mother and two fathers have been charged with neglect after an infant was taken to a Delaware County hospital with serious head injuries.
A report filed by the Muncie Police Department states that the Department of Child Services contacted police April 10 for a 6-month-old boy at IU Ball Memorial Hospital with possible head trauma.
Doctors told police that the child had obvious swelling to his head and was preliminarily diagnosed with blood or fluid on the brain in more than one location. The infant was flown to Riley Hospital for Children for emergency surgery and more testing.
Riley doctors performed an emergency procedure to reduce the pressure on the infant’s brain and also found a retinal hemorrhage which police say doctors called “highly suspicious” and described the symptoms as being typically associated with abusive head trauma and shaken baby syndrome. The infant’s current condition is not known at this time.
Police say the child’s mother lives with two men who share responsibilities for the infant and their two other children in the home, the oldest being approximately 4 years old.
Investigators visited the home and found what they called “deplorable conditions.” The police report describes “foul substances” on the floor believed to be human waste and unsanitary and filthy conditions throughout the home. Police say the lower level of the apartment was also flooded because of a plumbing leak.
The two young children in the home were also filthy and diagnosed with lice and scabies, according to police.
During interviews with police, all three parents initially claimed the child had fallen out of a swing and onto tile flooring. But in a separate interview, the mother told police that she had been alone with the infant several weeks ago and had “blacked out” after becoming upset that she was not getting any help. She told police she believed she may have caused the baby’s injuries, but she did not take him to the hospital immediately because she wanted to see if he had any symptoms.
All three children were placed in the custody of DCS.
The mother is preliminarily charged with aggravated battery and two counts of neglect of a dependent, both fathers are preliminarily charged with neglect of a dependent.
The incident remains under investigation by the Muncie Police Department and DCS.