SO investigating case of possible child abuse

September 26, 2013 • Local News

The Chaves County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a case of possible child ab[auth] use. A five-month-old girl was brought to a local hospital on Sept. 13, because of seizures. Preliminary examination also indicated internal injuries.

“The child was flown to Lubbock and later transferred to University of New Mexico Hospital. She had been flown out before we arrived,” said Lt. Britt Snyder. The case was referred to New Mexico Children, Youth and Family Department.

“They are telling us the injuries are consistent with shaken baby syndrome,” Snyder said.

The National Library of Medicine reports that SBS usually causes hemorrhaging inside the brain, where the cavity rapidly fills with blood; retinal hemorrhage (bleeding of the vessels in the back of the eye) and cerebral edema or swelling of the brain. Studies found a 53 to 80 percent incidence of RH with abusive head injury; however, that is not the only cause of RH in children. Convulsions also can result in RH.

“This will not be an easy case to resolve,” Snyder said. “When you are dealing with OMI, things are simplified. You have one doctor who is an expert in the field, but in this case, we have multiple doctors in multiple places. We will have to wait until we receive all the medical records.”

The baby is still alive, but has been left permanently disabled. “She is blind in one eye and deaf,” said Snyder.

The SO interviewed the 15-year-old mother and the child’s grandmother, but have been unable to locate the 17-year-old father.

Snyder said: “The family would like to see a quick resolution, but it may be another month before we get all the records and we are going to have to be absolutely sure before we present our findings to the District Attorney’s office.”

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