Suspect arrested for abuse of 15-month-old Prescott child
Boy had bruising, trauma to face, genital area
A Prescott man acting as a caregiver for two young children was arrested Thursday, May 2, on suspicion of abusing one of the children two days earlier, officials said.
The man, 28-year-old Jerimiah David King, was left to care for the children, a 15 month old boy and 3 year old girl, at the home he lives in on Julie Drive in Prescott on Tuesday, April 30, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO).
After returning home, the children’s mother and aunt noticed bruising on the 15 month old that was getting progressively worse, YCSO reported. Concerned for the child’s wellbeing, they decided to get him checked out at Yavapai Regional Medical Center.
Hospital personnel called YCSO to advise there was unexplained bruising and trauma to the child’s face and genital area. It was determined the child should be flown to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for further examination. In the meantime, a deputy was sent to the residence and questioned King about the child’s injuries. King claimed to know nothing as to how the child was injured, YCSO said.
The next day, a lead detective from YCSO’s Criminal Investigation Bureau was assigned to the investigation. Family members who were interviewed thought the child may have been injured from allegedly falling while trying to reach for a mobile hanging above the crib, YCSO reported. Medical staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital disputed this story and told the detective the injuries were in no way related to a fall.
Rather, the injuries were on three different planes of the child’s body; including bruising on both ears indicative of being hit, redness and bruising on the face and bruising and swelling in the genital area. There are no reports of fractures or previous abuse, medical staff told YCSO. Detectives later obtained additional evidence alleging King’s involvement during follow-up interviews.
On May 2, detectives interviewed King again and he confirmed being the only one in the house throughout the day on April 30. Again he claimed he did not know how the child was injured and said he would never hurt the child, YCSO said. He did admit seeing redness on the child’s cheeks around 3:15 p.m. when he woke him from a nap.
King was arrested and booked into the Yavapai County jail in Camp Verde on complaints including intentionally causing injuries to a young child and aggravated assault. He has since been released pending court proceedings.
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