Public outcry over injured and possibly abused infant
According to a press release from the Hannibal Police Department, officers were called to Hannibal Regional Hospital for a report of possible child abuse on Tuesday, June 3rd.
Police determined that the victim, a then 7-week-old infant, had injuries consistent with possible abuse, according to the release.
The baby's mother Melinda and grandmother Kim spoke with KHQA's Allyson Brown on Friday. They asked that we only use their first names.
Melinda and Kim would like everyone to know that baby Nora is still on a ventilator, but she can now breathe somewhat on her own. They also say that baby Nora was not sexually assaulted in any way and say that her injuries are consistent with a severe "whooping".
"She is a happy baby, she was just starting to smile and coo," Melinda, Nora mother. said
Baby Nora was being watched by a family friend on Tuesday while her mother Melinda was at work.
"She was supposed to be brought to come see me, she always comes and sees me on lunch breaks, she was supposed to be there at 7:30 and she didn't get there until 7:45," Melinda said.
Melinda said she didn't think too much of it until Nora woke up.
"Walked over to the car she was sleeping, we were having a conversation she kind of whimpered, but it wasn't her usual cry, it was very soft, weak, cry," Melinda said
That prompted Melinda to pick up baby Nora.
"I've never felt a baby be so cold before so it's just, I just knew something was wrong, she shouldn't be cold," Melinda said.
Melinda then rushed Nora to the hospital.
"The doctor came in and the gentleman that was watching the child went out of the room and we then begin to realize something bad had happened," Kim, Nora's grandmother said.
"Begged him to tell us what had happened to her and he kept claiming that his grandmother did it, that she'd dropped her, his grandmother is in a nursing home under 24 hour care," Kim said.
Baby Nora's family says things are not adding up. Kim said she watched the family friend walk across the parking lot and hasn't seen him since. They have heard from the family friend who was watching Nora. Kim said he has been calling from a restricted number.
"Therefore, we are just asking that he turn himself in, if he's not guilty of this, come forth tell how, who could have did this," Kim said
The baby was transferred to a hospital in the St. Louis area due to the severity of her injuries.
HPD says that an investigation is being conducted and more information will be released when appropriate.
Concerned Tri-State residents have taken to Facebook in support of the hospitalized baby and KHQA will bring you further details as soon as they are obtained.
As of 5 o'clock Friday evening, Baby Nora is still in critical condition, however they have increased her food intake.
If you have any information, you are asked to please contact HPD at 573-221-0987.