Man faces charges after infant treated for "shaken baby syndrome"
A two month old girl was taken to the hospital with bleeding in her brain and the girl's uncle faces charges.
Police in McMinn County say Child Protective Services contacted them June 15 after the girl was brought to the hospital to check her legs and doctors found bleeding in her brain.
Police interviewed the girl's uncle, Elijah Schmaltz, who has guardianship of the girl. He says he became concerned when the girl would cry out when he changed her diaper, so he brought her in.
He told officers he didn't know how she injured her head, and he did not harm her.
Police interviewed Schmaltz's girlfriend, Amanda Carr. She told officers Schmaltz voiced his concerns about the girl's leg and they brought her to the hospital.
The next day, Schmaltz contacted police and told them after going over his statement in his head, he thought he might have hurt the girl.
Schmaltz told police that sometimes when he gets upset he blacks out and can't remember what he has done. He told them he has been under tremendous stress since he got off active duty in March. Schmaltz said he cannot find a job and that the pressures of having custody of his niece has been weighing on him.
He told officers on Thursday, June 13, he and his girlfriend got into a fight, and that's when the injury could have happened.
He said her injuries happened because of him, but he could not remember inflicting them.
After further evaluation, doctors told police the girl's injuries were consistent with "shaken baby syndrome."
Etowah Police arrested Schmaltz June 20 and charged him with aggravated child abuse.