Originally Published: July 13, 2018 12:39 p.m.
A 4-month-old baby boy is in stable condition at Phoenix Children’s Hospital after first arriving at the Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) in Prescott Valley Thursday afternoon, July 12, with “symptoms of extreme abuse,” according to a Chino Valley Police Department (CVPD) news release.
Employees with YRMC contacted CVPD at about 4:30 p.m. to report the suspected abuse. The hospital was treating and preparing the baby at that time to be flown via helicopter to where it could receive advanced medical care in Phoenix. The nature of the injuries to the baby indicated that this wasn’t the first time the 4-month-old had experienced physical trauma, physicians told CVPD officers. Brain scans showed multiple brain bleeds both old and new.
Investigators began conducting interviews with Lifeline Ambulance crews and Central Arizona Fire and Medical Authority (CAFMA) personnel involved in transporting the baby to the hospital, hospital staff and the baby’s mother.
Initial information indicated the baby is cared for by his mother except for when she goes to work during the day to support herself, the baby and her brother - the baby’s uncle. While at work, she entrusts her brother to care for the child, police said. He was identified as 26-year-old Chino Valley resident Taylor Marrs.
On Thursday, Marrs brought the baby to the mother’s work after the boy was experiencing some medical issues, police said. The mother rushed the baby to the nearest fire department to seek emergency medical care for her baby and was assisted by CAFMA and Lifeline crews before the baby was transported to YRMC.
A Chino Valley Detective then interviewed Marrs, who, at first, denied causing any harm to the baby, police said. However, further into the interview, Marrs eventually admitted to causing injury to the baby on multiple occasions over several weeks. Marrs described striking the baby, shoving bottles into his mouth (causing bruising), choking, smothering and shaking the baby, police said.
The alleged assault of the 4 month old on Thursday included the smothering, choking and shaking, which caused the baby to lose consciousness, stop breathing and go into seizure-like fits, police said.
“The great work by the medical crews of CAFMA, Lifeline, YRMC and Phoenix Children’s Hospital have resulted in the child’s condition being currently listed as stable,” said CVPD spokesperson Vince Schaan.
Police continue to investigate this matter and are working with the Department of Child Services.
“We are continuing contact with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the great medical staff tasked with caring for this little baby,” Schaan said. “As updates are provided to us on the baby’s condition we will continue to provide those updates.”
Marrs was booked into the Yavapai County jail on one count of child abuse, and six counts of aggravated assault. The matter will be referred to the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office for review and formal charging, Schaan said.