A Salt Lake County couple was charged Friday with nine counts of felony child abuse in a case investigators call one of the worst they have ever seen.
Medical staff at Primary Children's Medical Center who examined the 2-year-old girl reported chemical burns on the child's face, eyes and hands, hemorrhaging in both eyes, lacerations on her hands, eyelids and face, seven broken bones in the girl's left hand and five broken bones in her right hand, lost teeth, multiple bruises and missing patches of hair, according to the probable cause statement filed with the charges in 3rd District Court.
Amy Ellene Roberts, 30, mother of the child identified in charging documents as "M.M.," and Derrick Lee Crispin, 29, the mother's boyfriend, told investigators Crispin used a syringe to try to relieve swelling on M.M.'s hands Monday evening before Roberts took M.M. to the hospital. The couple were also charged with one felony count of obstructing justice.
Charging documents say officers executing a search warrant of the couple's apartment near 3900 South and 800 East found a garbage bag in a Dumpster that contained a syringe, bloody tissues and other items officers believe are connected with "the infliction or cleanup of M.M.'s injuries."
Roberts took M.M. to St. Mark's Hospital about 1 a.m. Tuesday where staff then transferred the child to Primary. "The medical staff immediately recognized some real problems," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak on Wednesday. "In my 31 years with the sheriff's office ... I rate this in the top five worst (child abuse) cases," he said.
The doctor who examined M.M., "found no medical condition that would account for the array of M.M's injuries and opined that the combination of M.M.'s injuries constitutes severe child abuse," charges say.
Officers arrested Roberts after questioning her and then went to the couple's condo, where they questioned Crispin and then arrested him. Both were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, where they remained Friday in lieu of $150,007 bail each.Roberts also has a 9-year-old boy who was taken into protective custody.
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