MOBERLY, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Moberly man was arrested over the weekend after police were notified of a child abuse case that sent a 10-month-old girl to the hospital.
Police were originally notified of the case around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday after the child had to be flown by helicopter from Moberly Regional Medical Center to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
The child was listed as critical and had "obvious trauma to the brain and had signs of injury to the face and body," said the Moberly Police Department in a news release. The child was diagnosed with intracranial hemorrhage, a C-spine fracture, a concussion and non-accidental trauma, a probable cause statement said.
After investigating, police found the child was left in the care of the mother's ex-boyfriend, Zachary Mohr, 23, Saturday night. When the child was returned to her mother, the mother noticed strange behavior and that the child appeared injured, police said.
Mohr allegedly told the child's mother the child was not buckled in the car seat, and he was trying to give the child a bottle in the backseat of the car while driving, according to a probable cause statement. Mohr also told the mother that he then ran into a ditch, and the child's car seat flipped, court documents said.
Mohr later told officers in an interview that he became angry with the child as she was continually crying, and he struck the child numerous times with items, including cell phone and metal tool box, police said.
Mohr was arrested and charged with abuse or neglect of a child causing serious physical injury and taken to the Randolph County Jail. He is being held on no bond.
Moberly Police Chief Troy Link said multiple agencies were involved in the investigation.
"Right now it's still an active investigation," Link said. "We're working with our partner agencies. Randolph County Sheriff's Department, Randolph County Juvenile Office and the Randolph County Division of Family services were all involved in this case together."
Link said cases involving children can be traumatic for the officers working them.
"My officers have children, I have children. It's very traumatizing for us to have to stay very focused and actually work the case when the victim is such a defenseless child," Link said. "It's a tragedy, our hearts and prayers go out to the little girl and her family that she's able to move forward and recover from this."
Randolph County Prosecutor Stephanie Luntsford said it is not typical for the county to see child abuse cases like this.
"Particularly in Randolph County we don't see abuse cases where the injuries are that severe very often, which of course is a good thing," Luntsford said. "The injuries are quite serious and quite severe to this child."
Luntsford said additional charges could be filed in the case.
"There are other charges that are possible, even with the investigation as we know it now," Luntsford said. "There are some additional charges that likely could be filed."