3-Month-Old Jackson Baby Being Treated for Possible Abuse

By: Hannah Saunders Email
By: Hannah Saunders Email

"Ultimately, these cases can cause an infant's death," said Deputy Chief of Jackson Police John Holda. Which is why this investigation, it it's early stages, is being taken so seriously by police.

The 3-month-old baby was originally taken to Allegiance hospital in Jackson by his mother on Thursday because of an upset stomach, but was transferred to U of M Hospital on Saturday. That's where yesterday, those doctors called DHS, who then called police; now investigating a possible case of shaken baby syndrome.

"The child is in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries at this point, so we're just going to be interviewing the parents and anybody who had contact with the child prior to last Thursday."

Police say the 21-year-old father is involved in the boy's life, but they still don't know if he was living with him and his 21-year-old mother at the Abbey Villas on Van Buren st; an apartment complex residents say is filled with mostly young families.

"We've had a lot of people move in and a lot of them are young mothers," said Jeanie Johnson, who's lived at Abbey Villas for five years. "The screaming and crying is just unbelievable."

But as loud as the noise has been, they're still shocked to know one of those cries could have been this baby, and that baby is now recovering from injuries he's too young to tell anyone about.

"My prayers are going out to the baby and the mother too. It's just sad, really sad," continued Johnson.

This is a joint investigation by Jackson police and the DHS. The two are still deciding if the baby will be allowed to go back home when he's well enough to leave the hospital, but there's no word yet on when he'll be released.

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  • by Sue Luttner Location: Palo Alto, CA on Sep 25, 2012 at 04:47 PM
    My best wishes to the child, and to the extended family. I do hope the investigators are aware of the growing list of legitimate medical conditions that can mimic shaken baby syndrome. As the name implies, the syndrome is routinely diagnosed even in the absence of bruises, welts, fractures, red marks or indeed any of the usual tell-tale signs of abuse. A diagnosis of shaking based on the brain injury alone with no physical findings is no longer considered reliable, because of cases like this one, in which a child's genetic disorder was misdiagnosed as abuse: http://onsbs.com/prologue/
  • by Jeremy Praay Location: St. Johns on Sep 25, 2012 at 06:01 AM
    I would like to know what factors the doctors are using on which to base the diagnosis of "shaken baby syndrome." SBS is often overdiagnosed, meaning that many innocent people are accused and often convicted, simply because their babies became ill. If the baby simply has a subdural hematoma, these are common at birth, with some studies suggesting 25-50% of newborns have these, and they often do not cause problems. But unless a CT or MRI is done, we would not even know there was blood on the brain. It clears up on its own, and children are asymptomatic. In fact, even the man who created the diagnosis is now "horrified" by the way it is liberally being used to convict the innocent. http://www.npr.org/2011/06/29/137471992/rethinking-shaken-baby-syndrome Indeed, it is unfortunate that these babies can't talk, because quite often, they would tell police and doctors that they were not abused. If the doctors are careful, and perform the proper diagnostic tests, they may make that determination as well. Do not jump to a conclusion.
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