A North Carolina couple was arrested Feb. 1 for allegedly abusing their 3-month-old twin boys. The children have been removed from the couple's home.
Nicholas Brandon Clark, 20, and Brittany Nichole Hefner, 24, of Connelly Springs, North Carolina, were arrested and charged with felony child abuse after police responded to an emergency call at their home on Jan. 31, WBTV reports.
They are both being held in Burke County detention on $75,000 bonds.
The two were arrested after officers responded to a report that an infant in their home was not breathing. Paramedics at the scene reportedly performed CPR on the child before transporting him to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory, North Carolina.
The child and his twin brother, who was also home at the time, were eventually both taken to Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston Salem for treatment. Doctors at the hospital reportedly discovered signs of abuse and contacted law enforcement.
Although authorities have not revealed details of the abuse, they reported that one child is in critical condition while the other is in stable condition.
Neighbors who knew the couple expressed their shock at the arrests.
"They took good care of the babies," one man told WBTV. "I just can't see them hurting those boys."
Another neighbor, Michael Patton, said that the couple was "crazy about the boys" but may have been too young to be parents.
"Kids raising kids," Patton added.
North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation will assist in the abuse investigation, which is ongoing.
According to the American Humane Association, data gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2007 show that young children from birth to 3 years of age suffered the highest rates of child abuse at 16.5 cases per 1,000 children.