A severe abuse case involving a 1-year-old Mishawaka boy who was hospitalized earlier this week has prompted an investigation by both police and the Indiana Department of Child Services.
A spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Child Services could not provide details of the case since it is still an active investigation. A Mishawaka police detective could not be reached late Friday for comment.
(Names and locations are being withheld to protect the identity of the toddler.)
According to the reporting officer, the toddler’s facial injuries resembled that of a child involved in an injury accident and were the worst the officer had seen on a 1-year-old as a police officer.
Mishawaka Police responded to an area hospital early Thursday morning and met with the boy and DCS, which had already been contacted. Besides injuries to the cheek area, left ear and neck, there appeared to be bruising on the toddler’s face, forehead, hair line, back, both legs, his buttocks and near his genitals, according to a police report.
The boy’s genitals were so swollen doctors ran tests to see if he had sustained any permanent damage to his reproductive system, the police report said. Doctors also scanned him for head trauma.
His condition is unknown.
It is unclear exactly how the boy was injured. The St. Joseph County Family Violence/Special Victims Unit is reviewing the case.
A 2-year-old in the home told police she was hit daily on the buttocks, head and hands. The boy’s uncle, who sometimes watched the toddler at night while the mother worked, told police the child had no injuries when he put him to bed on July 13. When he woke up the next day, the man noticed bruising, according to the report.
He said the toddler’s mother had been fired from her job on July 13 and appeared drunk that night, according to a police report.
The boy’s mother reportedly told the grandmother when the toddler woke up on the morning of July 14, she noticed skin discoloration on the face, which the grandmother believed was eczema, according to the police report.
The grandmother, who has watched the boy several days recently, told police she noticed a scratch on the boy on Tuesday and dark facial discoloration, prompting her to call a local clinic for an appointment. The boy was taken to the clinic Wednesday. However, staff there told the grandmother to take the boy to a hospital for immediate treatment, according to the police report.
Staff writer Tom Moor:firstname.lastname@example.org; 574-235-6234