Level 3 Felony Neglect of a dependent charges have been filed by Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney David Daly against Eric Williams and Heaven Moore. On April 28, 2020 Adams County Department of Child Services contacted the Randolph County Sheriff Department requesting to speak to local authorities in regards to an infant that was being treated at a hospital in Bluffton, Indiana for leg fractures and possible head injury as well. The infant, born in March of 2020, resided with those being charged, at a residence in northwest Randolph County, IN after recently moving from Adams County.
Upon arrival at the hospital, Detective Tom Pullins was met by the case workers and Williams, the boyfriend of Moore. Although not permitted to enter the hospital due to COVID-19, Pullins was informed that Moore and the infant were inside seeking treatment. While speaking with case workers, Pullins learned that the infant was taken to the hospital for a routine 6-week wellness check. Moore reported at the visit that the infant had been fussy for the past three days. Moore denies knowing any type of trauma since birth and possible causes of injuries stating that she thought he was just gassy and felt that he had been moving his legs as normal.
Upon further evaluation, it was determined that the infant’s anterior fontanelle part of the infants skull was firm and full and should not be. There was also an enlargement in both upper legs across the top of the femurs. Further blood work and imaging was ordered and the blood work was found to be normal but slightly anemic. The imaging however showed periosteal reaction, a place on a bone where a fracture or break is healing. There were two noted fractures on the right femur that were in different stages of healing indicating two separate incidents of injury. The head CT showed extensive bi-frontal and bi-temporal atrophy or loss of brain cells or the connections between the cells. This damage is caused typically by stroke or traumatic brain injury.
When Pullins spoke to both Moore and Williams at the Department of Child Services in Bluffton, Williams was identified as the live-in boyfriend of Moore at the residence that they had shared for approximately two months with three children although they had been together for five months. Moore advised Pullins that the infant had been “screaming” for three days and she had asked Williams if he had over fed the infant. She described Williams as “sticking a bottle in his mouth” every time he cries. Williams denied the allegation. She also had noticed the leg enlargement but just assumed it was weight gain.
Upon further questioning, Pullins asked Moore if she had concerns about the way Williams handled the kids and she said yes. Moore stated that she had spoke to Williams on various occasions about his pulling on arms and leaving bruises where he grabbed them and she stated that Williams claim the kids got on his nerves and that’s why he did it.
Pullins asked her to give details on the bruising and she advised him that Williams was grabbing them by their wrist and squeezing so hard that it left bruising. She also stated that there was no current bruising on the children and she hadn’t noticed any for over a month and a half.
Moore claims that she works nights and sleeps during the day, hardly seeing her children and stated Williams to be their main caretaker for all the children. She advised Pullins it was obvious that she was never home and didn’t do anything to her kids and was going to make Williams leave. Pullins asked Moore if she was assuming Williams did this because he is the only other person that is there with the kids and she advised him yes. Moore stated that both her and Wiliams had even had a conversation on the way to the wellness appointment about the child’s care and Williams stated he would take responsibility for whatever happened while the child was under his care.
Pullins then spoke to Williams and explained the nature of the situation as to why he was there. Williams stated he wanted to find out what had happened as well and would take responsibility for what might have happened under his watch. It was confirmed by Williams that there is no one else that visits the house except himself, Moore and the three children. In further conversation, Williams stated that he does not spank Moore’s children as they are not his. He denied that he grabbed the children’s arms but claims Moore had.
Williams advised Pullins that he assumes the mother and father role of the children when he is not working so Moore can sleep. Pullins asked if the infant could move around for himself and Williams claimed he could not which led to the question as to how the injuries could not be self-inflicted but at the hands of another. Williams advised Pullins he had never witnessed Moore do anything out of the way with the kids and he said no.
When Pullins advised Williams that he could see that this could be a stressful atmosphere in the household, Williams agreed. Pullins told Williams that he doesn’t think the child was harmed intentionally but due to stress, lack of sleep, etc., he could see where something could happen. Williams then stated that maybe he grabbed the infant and set him down too hard before. Pullins further questioned Williams who stated that everything he does to the child is usually done in the dark and that he normally picks up the child by the waist or under the arms but his hands could have slid and grabbed the legs too resulting in the injuries. The head injuries were discussed where Williams claimed he had no idea how that would have happened.
At the conclusion of the interview, DCS advised Moore that they were going to take custody of her children during the investigation. Moore grabbed the infant in the car seat and ran out of the building. Pullins apprehended Moore and she turned over the child to him where DCS placed the three children in care. Later that night DCS informed Pullins that the infant was being transported to Riley Hospital due to the severity of its injuries where it was later admitted. When admitted the doctors found more fractures. Doctor reported that altogether the infant was dealing with a fractured right and left femur in the upper leg, a fractured radius in the lower arm, a fractured proximal and distal tibia in the lower leg and healed fractures of left ribs 2-5. They also confirmed that the fluid on the brain was in fact a brain bleed. The other children were also examined and found nothing notable upon their examinations.
Pullins spoke to officials at Riley Hospital and asked if they could tell how old the fractures were and they said yes. The brain bleed was 2-4 weeks of healing. The leg fractures were questioned by Pullins and asked if this type of injury could happen during a routine diaper change and the doctor claimed that it could but the infant in question had actual bones broken in half. The doctor stated the symptoms of the injuries would be quite noticeable with crying and noises upon movement. The doctor in their professional opinion stated they would consider these injuries as a result of severe life-threatening child abuse.
The brain injury was determined possibly life threatening as there was blood over both sides of his brain and over very large portion of it. It was also determined that the injuries occurred from forces to the head that are most commonly associated with shaking the child or other head impacts. If not monitored, the injury could result in death. The hematomas were on both the left and the right side of the brain which are like tears in the brain.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, Pullins determined that the injuries in this case should result with charges of Level 3 felony. Williams and Moore both admitted that they were caregivers to the infant and doctors reports state that the injuries should have been quite noticeable to the caregivers. When Pullins spoke to Williams and Moore about the charges he was going to recommend, Moore stated she would leave the state. Pullins reminded her that is her option but if a warrant was issued then she would be found and returned to local authorities.
The couple have both been arrested and charged with Level 3 Felonies of Neglect of a Dependent which could result in imprisonment of 3-16 years and up to a $10,000 fine. As of press time the both suspects were still housed in the Randolph County Jail.