(BLOOMFIELD) - A 22-year-old father, David G. McNeal, was arrested last Wednesday after a case was filed against him accusing him of felony neglect of a dependent - his baby allegedly arrived at Riley Hospital suffering from multiple hematomas of his brain, in different stages of healing.
Anna Rochelle of the Greene County Daily World reports that after his arrest, another case was filed, against the baby's mother,19-year-old Jaycie Gouckenour, of Solsberry and a warrant was issued and she was arrested Friday on a charge of neglect of a dependent
Both Gouckenour and McNeal are scheduled to appear in Greene Circuit Court this morning.
McNeal was arrested on charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury and neglect of a dependent causing bodily injury.
Gouckenour and McNeal's baby was admitted to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis in late September of 2012. The baby, not quite three months old at the time, was suffering from bruises to his brain and swelling of his brain. Indiana State Police Detective Brian Smith was dispatched to the hospital.
Det. Smith first spoke with a case worker from the Department of Child Services (DCS) in Greene County who told him she had learned through speaking with doctors and nurses at Riley that the baby had multiple hematomas in his brain that were in different stages of healing and that it would take significant force to cause the injuries.
During the investigation, Det. Smith conducted a number of interviews, talking with both father and mother, caseworkers, doctors and other personnel at Riley Hospital. He explained his findings in a lengthy probable cause affidavit.
According to the affidavit, McNeal and Gouckenour both said an incident had occurred with the baby on a Monday. McNeal said he was watching the baby while Gouckenour was at work. The baby had a bad diaper rash and when he changed the diaper, the baby started crying and got hysterical with crying. He allegedly said the baby's crying got so bad that the baby lost his breath and passed out, so he (McNeal) picked him up and shook him to wake him up. But that didn't work so he laid the baby down and rubbed his stomach and the baby did eventually wake up after 15-30 seconds. Then the baby was crying again so he bounced him to settle him down. He allegedly admitted that he did not support the child's neck when he was shaking him.
When the officer talked to Gouckenour, she allegedly said the baby passed out because the baby held his breath. But the officer spoke to a doctor who said toddlers can hold their breath and pass out, but infants cannot do that.
Both mother and father told the detective the baby seemed fine on Tuesday but on Wednesday the baby was acting funny. On Thursday they took the baby to see a doctor. The doctor ordered a scan and an x-ray, a hematoma was discovered and the baby sent from Bloomington to Riley Hospital by a Lifeline ambulance. The detective arrived at the hospital and began his investigation on Friday.
When questioned about how the child might have gotten multiple hematomas, the detective heard a story about how McNeal had been carrying the baby a couple of weeks earlier and had banged the baby's head on a bathroom door but it did not even leave a bruise. They also said the injuries might have been caused by a car seat.
Information, opinions and diagnosis, from four different doctors and a pediatric resident is detailed in the affidavit suggesting the baby suffered at least three injuries with one of them a fresh injury, that the baby had a huge subdural with lacerations on both sides of his brain, and that it would take violent force to cause these injuries. One doctor stated that the baby would not be the same after these injuries and would likely start to have developmental problems around age two, would most likely be learning disabled and have poor impulse control.
In addition, the affidavit notes that both doctors and the detective felt that the response of the parents had been inappropriate when speaking about the situation, and nonchalant about the significance of the injuries.
According to the affidavit, doctors at Riley have ruled out several possible causes of the hematomas including birth injuries, bleeding disorders, other routine trauma, and other uncommon causes, and that the injuries were caused only by dramatic violent events consistent with acceleration/deceleration injuries.
They also said the injuries were not consistent with bumping the baby's head against a door, or with a car seat injury -- one doctor told the officer that there was no way the injuries could have been caused by a car seat unless the baby had been in multiple significant car accidents.
Greene County DCS remains involved with the case and the child has been placed in the care of other family members.
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