PALM HARBOR, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman is now facing an aggravated child abuse charge after a 5-month-old suffered a traumatic brain injury in Palm Harbor.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said the incident happened on Thursday inside a private residence. Detectives then began an investigation on Friday after they were notified of a suspicious incident involving a 5-month-old child with life-threatening injuries.
Detectives say earlier Friday, 30-year-old Burgandie Marquez stopped at a Mobil Gas Station in Pasco County with her 5-month-old son, complaining that the child was having seizures and needed medical attention.
Paramedics responded to the gas station and airlifted the child to St. Joseph’s Hospital for life-threatening injuries.
Medical staff at the hospital told detectives that the child suffered a severe brain bleed caused by head trauma. The child remained in critical condition.
Through the investigation, detectives learned that Marquez and the child had been staying at a residence in Palm Harbor. Witnesses told detectives that the child appeared in good health on Wednesday.
Detectives say Marquez was the sole caretaker of the 5-month-old from Monday until the medical issue was reported on Friday.
Detectives interviewed Marquez on Saturday and found out that she gave contradictory statements about how the child was injured.
Marquez admitted to detectives she was at the Palm Harbor residence with the child on Thursday when she became enraged during a phone call with the child’s father. She told detectives she intentionally and forcefully jerked the child up from the ground twice causing the child’s head to snap backward.
Marquez said she then placed the child underneath her arm and ran up and down the stairs inside the residence allowing the child’s head to bounce up and down without support. She also admitted she knew she had been too rough with the child.
Marquez told detectives she noticed the child was having seizures Friday, however, tried consoling the child and never sought medical attention.
Detectives say later that afternoon, Marquez took the child to Pasco County to meet the child’s father but stopped at a Mobil Gas Station when the child’s medical condition worsened.
Marquez was arrested and taken to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
She is now facing one count of aggravated child abuse with great bodily injury.
Marquez is now being held on a $500,000 bond.
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