A Fresno woman was arrested Thursday night for injuring her 3-month-old daughter, the fourth serious child abuse case involving infants allegedly injured or killed by their mothers or a mother’s boyfriend in the past week in the Central Valley.
The injuries in the Fresno case occurred Sunday or Monday, and the infant was taken to Valley Children’s Hospital where her injuries were evaluated, said Fresno police Lt. Mark Hudson.
Police reports allege that Whitney Shawona Edwards, 24, broke two bones in the infant’s upper arm and her thigh bone, Hudson said.
Fresno police were called by Valley Children’s Hospital on Thursday after the injuries were evaluated by doctors, who advised police the case should be investigated for child abuse.
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Edwards was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of assault likely to cause death to a child and a second child abuse count. Her bail is $525,000, according to Fresno County Jail records.
A 20-year-old man was booked into Fresno County Jail last week on multiple charges of felony child abuse involving a 6-month-old child who died on June 23. The child was hurt on June 21, Fresno police reported.
Police followed up after paramedics went to a home on a call for an “unresponsive” infant. Homicide detectives say that the child was being watched by the mother’s boyfriend prior to the medical-aid call.
The suspect, identified as Osvaldo Tejada, is the mother’s boyfriend but not the child’s biological father, police said. Tejada was released from Fresno County Jail but remains a person of interest in the case as more tests are conducted, said Fresno police Lt. Dave Madrigal.
On June 22, Kings County Emergency Medical Services records show that sheriff’s deputies and paramedics were sent to Veronica Brouwer’s home near Hanford on a report that her 2-month-old girl was in cardiac or respiratory arrest.
Initial statements to deputies indicated the baby was found unresponsive and face down on a mattress and may have suffocated, authorities said. The child was taken to Adventist Medical Center in Hanford and transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital, where she died on June 23.
“No visible injuries were found,” sheriff’s officials said.
On Wednesday, an autopsy conducted by the Kings County coroner revealed blunt-force trauma injuries to the infant’s head led to her death. In follow-up interviews, detectives determined that Brouwer, 40, caused the child’s injuries. She was booked into Kings County Jail on suspicion of murder.
Last Saturday, Tulare County deputies went to a home near Terra Bella for a report of an unresponsive child. Deputies found the baby boy wasn’t breathing and began CPR.
Three days later, an autopsy determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma. The infant’s death is being investigated as a homicide and Tracy Rodriguez, 24, of Terra Bella, the child’s mother, was arrested and booked into Tulare County Jail on suspicion of murder.