Southern Utah News Articles
Church arrested in suspected child abuse case of infant
The Kane County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Kevin Church, of Kanab, on charges of suspected child abuse. The victim, his son Elias, (D.O.B. 3/18/15), was treated for multiple broken bones at the Kane County Hospital.
Officer Raddatz, of the Kanab City Police Department, contacted the Sheriff’s office in reference to the six week old baby’s injuries. Upon investigation and subsequent interview with the suspect by Sheriff’s Detective Dan Watson, it was revealed that Elias had sustained bruises to his upper back sometime between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on May 9, 2015. Elias’ mother reported the injuries when she discovered them, but had no idea how they occurred. X-rays revealed that Elias had a healing broken collar bone and a healing broken rib. Elias also had a newly broken, upper left leg, lower left leg and rib. The x-ray also showed the left upper arm was “bowed,” indicating a possible fracture.
In the six weeks since Elias’ birth, he had been in the hospital twice for injuries sustained at home. The first injury occurred when he was about three weeks old. It was reported that the father was attempting to burp him and squeezed Elias’ chin too hard, while striking him too hard on the back, causing contusions on his chin and back area. He was taken to the hospital and his father Kevin was counseled concerning properly holding of an infant.
Upon interview, the father admitted that he would become stressed because Elias was colicky and would cry a lot. He said on the morning of May 9, he was attempting to feed Elias a bottle and had him cradled in his left arm. The father admitted to becoming frustrated by Elias’ crying, grabbing him around the upper torso and squeezing him hard, with intent to harm Elias. Kevin said that a few weeks prior when he was trying to change the baby’s diaper, and once again became frustrated with the baby’s crying. The father admitted to grabbing Elias by the leg and violently twisted the baby around. Kevin admitted to knowing that the injuries he caused could have killed the baby.
The Department of Child and Family Services have opened a case on the alleged incidences, and the infant is now in the custody of his mother.
Church has been booked into the Kane County Public Safety Facility on a $20,000 bond.
The Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Kanab City Police encourage parents to seek help and counseling if they feel they are ‘in over their heads’ with their infants and young children. They also encourage friends and neighbors to be advocates for young children who can’t (or maybe won’t) be able to speak up for themselves. Acknowledging there’s sometimes frustration in child-rearing, law enforcement wants it known there are resources available to assist a parent in coping.
“It’s better to recognize your anger and frustration,” said Detective Watson. “Small children can’t defend themselves.”
The Department of Child and Family Services hotline is 855-323-3237.