It is reported that John Reese Elkins, age 20, of Sanpete County, Utah, has been charged with multiple counts of child abuse of Haley Peterson, a 1 month old baby girl. It is reported that Haley Peterson suffered multiple fractured ribs, fractured leg bones, and liver and espohagel trauma, along with bleeding between the skull and brain, according to published reports of a police affidavit.
It is reported that the child was left with Elkins by the mother, who was age 16, and that Elkins brought the baby to the grandparents 3 hours later - who noticed that the child had difficulty breathing. The grandparents reportedly noticed fist-shaped bruising on her chest and marking on the abdomen.
The report indicates that Elkins first denied causing any damage but then admitted to shaking Haley Peterson, and also first denied but then later admitted to punching the 1 month old girl. Elkins reportedly admitted he "lost his cool". The report indicates that Elkins reportedly explained the broken leg by pushing her leg when it was at a "funny angle" in a car seat, and that he "squeezed" the baby when she was crying.
The report indicates that the mother of the infant supposedly "scolded" Elkins "many times" for the "aggressive" way the man would pick up, hold and burp the baby.
It would be of interest to learn whether any one else had knoweldge that Elkins was "aggressive" with the baby. Were there any well-baby visits for the infant between day 1 and day 27? Did anyone affiliated with either a pediatric practice or any clinic take a history or notice any signs of injury that would have caused them to entertain a reasonable suspicion that the Haley was being subject to abuse, or neglect?
We wish for the best recovery possible for Haley, as she has reportedly suffered through treatment that no one should endure - especially a 27 day old little girl.
Anyone looking for good information on ways to prevent what reportedly occurred to Haley, or to support survivors of shaken baby syndrome, can visit the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome at www.dontshake.org, which is based in nearby Farmington Utah.