Police investigating child abuse cases with critical injuries

Sharna Johnson

Police are investigating unrelated child abuse cases that resulted in two infants being hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

Clovis police Capt. Patrick Whitney said both children, a 1-month-old girl and a 6-month-old boy, are at a Lubbock hospital with poor prognosis from doctors.

Interviews are being conducted and arrests are expected in both cases in coming days, he said.

Just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, records show officers responded to 405 Johnson St. in east Clovis for a report of a 6-month-old child who was not breathing.

Police records indicate the boy was gasping for air.

Whitney said while officers were at Plains Regional Medical Center investigating the case, they were approached by staff, who had just discovered healing fractures in a 1-month-old girl that was being examined.

The 6-month-old boy was airlifted and the female child was taken by ambulance to the same Lubbock hospital, he said.

Whitney said the 1-month-old underwent brain surgery, however, “Neither one of them is doing very well at this point.”

“They’re in the best care they could get at the children’s care unit in Lubbock… Miracles do happen.”

Whitney declined to go into details of the cases, citing ongoing investigations.

“Right now it would definitely be too premature to say who caused the injuries or where,” he said. “(In child abuse cases) you interview the caregivers, family and friends or anybody who might have been involved or seen anything.”

Whitney said siblings of the infants — who have been removed from both homes and placed in the care of child services workers pending the outcome of the investigations — are also being interviewed by child forensic interview specialists.

Because of the gravity of injuries the children sustained, Whitney said the Major Crimes Unit was activated and is handling the cases.

The MCU is a consortium of local law enforcement that collaborates on cases, bringing together multiple areas of expertise from agencies within the 9th Judicial District.