A Florida woman has been arrested after a cruel series of events nearly claimed the life of her baby.
On April 6, Baker County Sheriff’s Office was notified that an 8-month-old infant was being treated at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville for life-threatening injuries.
Detectives learned the infant had been taken to the hospital by his grandmother after she noticed that he was severely underweight.
Medical staff described the child’s general appearance as gravely ill due to life-threatening starvation which resulted in the 8-month-old infant weighing the average weight of a 2-month-old.
Aside from the obvious malnourishment, the baby was found to have suffered a skull fracture at some point prior to being admitted.
Investigators say that Haylee Kent, the mother of the child, did not visit the hospital or cooperate with the Department of Children & Families (DCF) during their investigation, along with law enforcement.
However, Kent agreed to meet with BCSO Detectives at the Sheriff’s Office several days after the incident was reported to discuss the child’s condition and injuries.
On April 19, Kent met with detectives for a follow-up interview, and as a result of that conversation, she was placed under arrest for multiple counts of child neglect with and without great bodily harm.
Through the investigation and Kent’s admission, detectives established that the victim suffered a pattern of neglect since the day he was born. This neglect consisted of a lack of necessary medical attention, malnourishment, and failure to provide a safe home environment.
Deputies say that during her final interview, Kent told detectives she felt the way her child needed to be fed was “sometimes annoying”, so she just opted not to do so.
“Despite the sad circumstances surrounding this investigation, BCSO is pleased the victim is recovering, gaining weight, and has been placed in foster care because of this investigation,” said Baker County Sheriff’s Office in a statement.
Kent has been charged with Child Neglect with Great Bodily Harm & Child Neglect without Great Bodily Harm.