Charges Pending For Parents After Infant Suffers From Malnourishment
By Amy Morrow Eyewitness News Anchor
CLEVELAND, BRADLEY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A five month old baby girl and her 16 month old brother are both being monitored at TC Thompson Children's Hospital for malnourishment.
"They say if she can make it through the night, things improve, she's a little fighter and is showing signs she wants to stay alive," says Cleveland Police Detective Brian Prichard.
A little fighter as detectives call her, who is 5 months old and weighs 8 pounds. She was dropped off at Skyridge Medical Center in Cleveland by her mother, late Monday night.
"She told the hospital the baby was not eating well, hadn't since Christmas," says Pritchard.
Pritchard says he's never dealt with a case like this one.
The baby has a 15 month old brother, who was put into foster care by the Department of Children Services.
"The foster parents noticed a small pump knot and bruises on his back," says Pritchard.
Now both children are being monitored by doctors at T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital.
"Information I'm getting so far is severe neglect through malnutrition," says Pritchard.
We went to the parents' Cleveland apartment to talk with them, no one answered the door.
Neighbors say they weren't home, Honesty Honeyman says she's only known the family for a few months but says they seem nice. She says they're kids are close to the same age, she says the 16 month old boy is petite.
"He's shy, very shy, timid, don't speak much and can't understand what he's saying," says Honeyman.
We did ask Honeyman if she was surprised to hear the allegations of neglect?
"No it don't not with the constant yelling and swearing at the kids," says Honeyman.
Honeyman did say the parents seemed to be healthy and she'd never seen any sign of them being desperate for food.
"The parents let us look through the house, cabinets... They had food, formula, clean bottles in the fridge and plenty of food for the family," says Pritchard.
Detectives say charges are pending against the parents. Charge would be aggravated child abuse. The five month on girl remains on life support.