Deputies have charged a Pitt County couple for allegedly abusing their infant child. Investigators said the baby suffered broken ribs and appeared malnourished.
According to the Pitt County Sheriff's Office, relatives of the 3-month-old girl had not seen the child for some time. When the relatives went to the infant's home on Northwest Acres Drive near Greenville, they became concerned for the baby's physical well-being and called EMS Thursday.
Once deputies went to check on the 3-month-old at Vidant Medical Center, they discovered the infant had "signs of neglect and obvious physical injuries," including three broken ribs and evidence of malnourishment, investigators said.
Both of the child's parents were arrested. The mother, 19-year-old Juana Torres Sutton, has been charged with negligent child abuse - serious physical injury. She was being held in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond.
The baby's father, 20-year-old Heriberto Mandoza Olguin, has also been charged with negligent child abuse - serious physical injury. He has been released from jail on a $25,000 secured bond.
Amy Sutton, the baby's grandmother, told NewsChannel 12 she didn't believe Juana's explanation on how the infant got hurt.
"[My daughter] said the cup when she was giving [the baby] a bath hit her in the face. Come on, a cup is not going to bruise a baby's face. It looked like someone either grabbed her by the face and smacked her to be quiet or somebody punched her in the face," Amy said.
Amy said she saw signs of abuse early on.
"I said, 'Juana, you need to take this baby to the doctor. I'm not playing with you. She needs to go... because this baby sounds congested and she can't even breathe,'" Amy said.
But Juana didn't take her infant daughter to the doctor, and that was why relatives went to check on the baby, Amy explained. She added it was her sister who found the child hurt.
"It's really depressing because I've been crying all day. I haven't even been able to eat today. I've been sick... When I saw her like that, it really tore my nerves," Amy said. "Oh, I can't take it because I didn't treat my children like that. I don't know what possessed them two to do this."
As of Friday night, the 3-month-old girl remained in the hospital with three broken ribs and bruises. Amy hopes she can gain custody of her granddaughter when the baby is released from the hospital.