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KOSCIUSKO — A fifth person has been arrested related to the severe neglect of a Nappanee child in March. This latest person connected with the crimes was identified as the mother of the sole caregiver of the child.
Annette Priestley, 59, 68726 Vistaula Road, White Pigeon, Mich., was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on Oct. 11, for neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, a level 3 felony.
Jammy Stacy, Etna Green; Rune Star Springer, Claypool; Travis Tillotson, Nappanee; and Fayette Robinette, Etna Green were all previously booked into the Kosciusko County Jail on neglect charges.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on March 2, officers with the Nappanee Police Department responded to a report of a child in need of service at 1200 N. Main St. Apartment 103, Nappanee. Officers discovered a male child who was injured and in need of medical attention.
Rune Springer, the child’s mother, said that she did not cause the injuries to the child as he had been in the care of Stacy for approximately one year.
According to Springer, on March 1, Stacy and Priestley dropped the child off at Springer’s residence with visible injuries all over his body. Springer stated that she didn’t call the police because Stacy told her not to, as they would both be arrested for child abuse. Travis Tillotson, the child’s stepfather, was shocked to see the injuries to the child and wanted to get him medical treatment, but Springer convinced him not to and he agreed with her.
The child was taken to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne for treatment.
Medical staff advised that the child had visible injuries in many stages of healing, showing injuries occurring over an extended time period.
The child had multiple pieces of his scalp missing, ranging from 1/2 inch to 2 inches. His septum on his nose had been cut out, and what appeared to be fingernail marks were dug into his left cheek and scabbed over. Both of the child’s arms were broken in multiple places and his arm sockets were broken to the point where the child was unable to raise his hands over his shoulders.
His teeth were broken from trauma and his lower lip had been cut deep. The child was also underweight and malnourished. His injuries appeared to range from several months old to a few days old.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers spoke with Dr. Jayesh Patel, who stated that the child’s injuries were life-threatening and were not accidental in nature. Dr. Patel advised that if the child didn’t receive treatment at that point, he would have died within 48 hours.
The broken bones in the child’s arms appeared to be less than 6 months old. His head injuries caused bleeding on the brain.
In October 2017, Springer had taken the child to Stacy to live with her. Springer would come to Stacy’s residence for an occasional visit, with the last visit being in December 2017.
Officers spoke with Stacy, who stated that she was the sole caregiver for the child from October 2017 until March 1. She said that the child would spend the night occasionally with her aunt, Fayette Robinette. Stacy said that she knew she should have gotten the child medical attention for his injuries and would have if the injuries would have been to her own son.
Stacy gave consent for officers to search her cellular phone. They discovered photographs of the child, proving that his injuries were sustained in the time period where Stacy was the sole caregiver. The time stamps also show that Robinette and Priestley would have had contact with the child in the time his injuries were visible and took no action to seek medical help for the child.
Tillotson is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Oct. 29. Stacy and Springer are scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Oct. 22. Robinette is scheduled for a pre-trial conference on Nov. 19.