Police: Girl, 5, badly beaten; other kids taken from home

Date: 2010-03-24
Source: sltrib.com

By Lindsay Whitehurst

The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 03/24/2010 04:57:51 PM MDT

An Eagle Mountain woman has been arrested on suspicion of abusing three of her seven children after her 5-year-old daughter suffered critical injuries in an apparent beating, police said.

About 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, the girl's parents brought her to the fire station in Eagle Mountain with a severe head injury, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. They claimed she had fallen.

Paramedics started to take the girl to American Fork Hospital, but her condition worsened and they called for a medical helicopter to land in Lehi and fly her to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Doctors there performed emergency surgery, removing part of her skull to relieve pressure caused by brain swelling. They were not initially sure she would survive, Cannon said. She was listed in critical condition Wednesday.

But doctors said her injuries could not have been caused by a fall, as her parents claimed. She appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma, and also showed signs of having been choked, Cannon said.

Investigators found six other children in the home ranging from age 2 to 16, Cannon said. Two, ages 6 and 7, also showed signs of having recently been abused.

On Tuesday, police arrested the 48-year-old mother on suspicion of three counts of aggravated child abuse, along with obstruction of justice and providing a false written statement. A judge ordered the children removed from the home the following day.

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Department of Children and Family Services agents and police have investigated the home before, but could not prove the children were being abused, Cannon said.

The father has not been arrested. The investigation is ongoing, Cannon said.

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