Authorities have arrested a man after a Wichita baby suffered fractures to his arms, legs, ribs and skull, an official said Monday.
The 4.5-month-old boy is expected to survive, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Bradford, with the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit.
Still, Bradford said, “This is one of the handful that we get every year that is this bad.”
The suspect, a 20-year-old who is a “father figure” in the baby’s home, is being held in jail on suspicion of aggravated battery, Bradford said.
“It’s always hard when we deal with severe child abuse cases,” he said. “It’s exceptionally hard when we deal with infants. … There’s no way they can defend themselves. … And I guess that’s what gets to be so heartbreaking in these cases.
“When people who are supposed to love and protect then turn on them.”
The case also involves four other children, ages 1 to 17, who were taken into police protective custody, police Lt. Dan East said earlier Monday. All of the children are in the same family, Bradford said. They subsequently were released back to their family, Bradford said later Monday.
Bradford said it doesn’t appear, based on the investigation so far, that there have been any previous concerns of child abuse involving the family.
Police arrested the suspect Saturday and plan to present their investigation Tuesday to prosecutors, who will decide whether charges will be filed.
The case began to unfold Friday after the baby’s mother took him to a doctor’s office, where “they were concerned about the injuries because they weren’t consistent with what she was saying to them,” Bradford said.
The mother didn’t appear to be aware of the severity of the child’s injuries until she took her son to the doctor’s office, Bradford said.
The baby was taken by ambulance from the doctor’s office to Via Christi Hospital St. Francis.
Investigators are trying to determine when the injuries occurred, Bradford said.