COCOA, Fla.-- The parents of a 2-month-old are facing attempted murder and child-abuse charges after their infant daughter was admitted to an emergency room with broken ribs, Cocoa Police said Thursday.
- Parents face attempted murder, child abuse charges
- Baby arrived at ER with broken ribs, other injuries
- Father accused of punching, shaking baby
Stephanie Marie Hylard, 26, and Dexter Williams, 27, were booked into the Brevard County Jail after their arrests late Wednesday.
The baby was brought into the emergency room at Rockledge Regional Medical Center early Wednesday, prompting an investigation by law enforcement and child-protection officials.
The baby had multiple fractures in her ribs, legs and skull and suffered from bleeding in the brain, according to Yvonne Martinez, a spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department.
“The infant also had visible bruises on her forehead,” Martinez said in a statement. “She was conscious, but appeared lethargic and weak.”
The infant was transported to an unidentified hospital for specialized treatment.
After interviewing witnesses and both parents, detectives learned that Williams would strike and shake the baby.
Williams allegedly punched the child with a closed fist when she cried and shook her violently, police said.
“The investigation revealed that both Williams and Hylard were responsible for the baby’s injuries and neither parent sought medical attention for at least five days,” Martinez said. Investigators said both parents had a role in the abuse.
“Mr. Williams and Ms. Hylard knowingly and willfully abused the infant. They tried to hide the abuse by using makeup to cover the bruises,” Detective Julio Gomez said in a statement. “Based on the severity of the injuries and the clearly visible nature, the parents should have known that this could have resulted in the infant’s death, yet they failed to seek medical attention. They had no sense of urgency."
Hylard and Williams have two other children from previous relationships. The Florida Department of Children and Families are caring for those children.
Hylard and Williams are being held without bond.