A Washington mother and her boyfriend were arrested after the woman’s 3-month-old daughter died from “suspicious” injuries.
Jerrica D. Schreib, 19, and her boyfriend, Donald Coons, 42, were arrested on Jan. 1 for first-degree mistreatment of a child, KOMO reported. The arrest comes two weeks after the death of Schreib’s daughter on Dec. 18.
The couple were staying at Far West Motel in Everett, Washington, with Coons’ three young daughters and the 3-month-old baby. On Dec. 18, Schreib called 911 and said her child was unresponsive and appeared to be having an allergic reaction to gripe water.
The child was rushed to a nearby hospital with “multiple broken bones, including varying vintage rib fractures, a healing broken arm, and numerous other unexplained injuries to include a laceration underneath her chin,” according to court documents obtained by KOMO.
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Schreib originally told police her baby was “completely normal” before the medical incident. She later said the child had fallen off the bed while being changed. The child is referred to as “MMS” in the court documents.
The baby was airlifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital reportedly told detectives the baby had “suspicious, severe, spiral fracture that anyone caring for her would have been aware of due to the amount of pain the infant would have been in."
The baby also had several rib fractures, meningitis, a lacerated liver and pneumonia, according to the Children’s Hospital abuse team.
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“This baby was tortured; there is no way anyone didn't know what was going on with this baby,” an unidentified doctor is quoted as saying in the police report.
Police interviewed Coons’ daughters, who are between the ages of 11 and 14, and learned that the baby had been “constantly crying” for weeks. The daughters said they suspected the child’s arm was broken and that they had asked Coons and Schreib to take the baby to the hospital, according to court documents.
The girls said they overheard Schreib and Coons “discussing concerns of the child's condition looking like child abuse if they took her to the doctor,” the police report stated. The girls added that Schreib would rarely help take care of the baby and would often leave the child alone in a car seat.
The child’s condition got to the point where she was having difficulty breathing and couldn’t move her head, My Everett News reported. The couple finally called 911 after Coons’ daughters told them the baby might die.
“As the biological parent (Schreib) and adult (Coons) who assumed the responsibility to provide a dependent person the basic necessities of life, they recklessly caused great bodily harm to MMS by withholding medical care from her when she was in obvious medical distress and ultimately died from her injuries and/or illness,” police stated in court documents.
Schreib and Coons are each being held on $500,000 bail.