ANOKA (WCCO) — A 40-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man have been charged in connection to the abuse of a 3-year-old boy, who is on life support and is not expected to live, according to authorities.
On Friday, Elizabeth Moorman of Anoka was charged with one felony count of neglect of a child, which, if she’s convicted, has a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and/or a $3,000 to $10,000 fine.
Anthony Urban of Anoka was charged with one felony count of first-degree assault, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $9,000 to $30,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Moorman brought the boy to Mercy Hospital at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The boy was quickly diagnosed with severe head trauma, punctured lungs and a variety of contusions all over his body. The boy was then airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where his injuries were found to be consistent with severe abuse.
After the diagnosis, the Anoka Police Department was notified and the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation.
When asked about the child’s injuries by a nurse at HCMC, Moorman said the boy was completely normal throughout the day, but became warm so she gave him Tylenol. Moorman said the boy then vomited, stopped breathing and collapsed on the floor. She said that she started “mouth to mouth right away” and took him to the Emergency Room within 15 minutes of his collapse.
In a later interview with a detective, Moorman gave a conflicting report that she had been away from the house Tuesday afternoon when Urban, who stays at her house at times, called her and told her that the boy was not feeling well. When she arrived home, the boy was in the same condition as he was when brought into the hospital.
When Urban was questioned by a detective, he said that boy vomited while Moorman went to a gas station that afternoon, and that Moorman came back and started CPR on the boy. He also said that Moorman told him not to call for help because she had warrants and was concerned she’d be arrested if police showed up.
Upon further questioning, Urban admitted to hitting the child in the head while helping the boy brush his teeth. He said that the boy fell off a stool and hit his head on the bathroom’s ceramic floor. He again said that he did not bring the boy to the hospital or call 911 because Moorman told him not to, according to the complaint.
A neighbor of Moorman told police she noticed a large bump and other injuries on the boy when she was helping carry bags into Moorman’s apartment on Monday.
Lt. Paul Lenzmeier of the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said the boy’s outlook is not good and HCMC doctors are exhausting all efforts in an attempt to decrease the swelling in his brain. At this point, the boy is not expected to survive.