Raleigh, North Carolina, mom Mary Peele is speaking out after being accused of breaking her 16-week-old son's ribs and shoulder blades.
Peele was arrested in July 2014 after her baby boy Micah was hospitalized for 12 broken ribs, along with two broken shoulder blades, WRAL reported at the time. It's now been a year and a half since Peele has seen her son, despite the fact that she has maintained her innocence in the case, WPVI reports.
Peele told WPVI that while Micah was a surprise for her and her fiance, she had always wanted to be a mother and welcomed the birth of her son. Although Peele said she loved every minute of her time as a mother, she noted that Micah often cried or screamed.
Peele said she began taking her son to the doctor for jaundice when he was around 2 months old. She also took him to the hospital when something appeared to be wrong with his arm. At the hospital, it was noted that there were no signs of neglect or abuse at that time.
On July 19, 2014, however, Peele went to pick up her son when she felt something pop in his arm. Peele called the after-hours nurse line, and it was recommended that she take her son to the hospital.
“I remember sitting him on the desk, you know, hey, we’re here, we just want to check and make sure our baby is ok,” Peele said. “And it was like right after, all hell broke loose.”
Micah was whisked away to have x-rays taken, and Peele and her fiance were approached by a social worker. Peele was told that Micah had several fractured ribs and a healed fracture to the ulna and radius of his left arm. There was also a mark on his shoulder that looked like a bite mark.
Micah’s doctors contacted police when they suspected abuse. According to one prosecutor, Micah had been abused his entire life.
Peele and her fiance were sent home without Micah. Micah was given to Child Protective Services under emergency custody. He is currently in foster care.
Since Peele's July 2014 arrest (she was released on bond shortly after), she has been consulting with doctors to find out what could have caused Micah's injuries. One doctor suggested that a metabolic bone disease could have led to the broken ribs, and another doctor suggested that Micah may have had neonatal rickets, which would also cause bone fragility.
Peele and her fiance are continuing to fight to get their son back.