CLEARWATER, Fla. — A 2-year-old girl is in critical condition, and her mother and the mother's boyfriend are in jail facing charges for neglect and abuse, Clearwater Police said on Thursday morning.
According to arrest records, the toddler was brought to an ER just after 2 a.m. on Wednesday with injuries that included severe bruises to her face, forehead, neck and chest, as well as internal injuries that included a linear fracture to her head, clavicle and leg.
Records said the young girl's head injury was severe enough to cause an internal brain bleed.
The victim was initially taken to Mease Countryside Hospital, where staff called the police, and was later transferred to St. Joseph's in Tampa where she remains in critical condition.
Police arrested the girl's mother Cheyenne Gray, 21, and her boyfriend Cameron Taylor, 21. Both are charged with child neglect resulting in great bodily harm and Taylor is charged with aggravated child abuse.
According to records, when questioned about the injuries Taylor offered several different stories including the child falling off a bed, falling off the toilet and the child falling face-first into the carpet when he was holding her between his legs and lost his grip.
Police said Taylor also told detectives he had to "hold her (the victim's) neck tight" when he washed her hair which caused thumbprint marks on her neck.
Police said the injuries happened to the toddler more than a week before she was taken to the ER. According to police, Gray said she didn't seek immediate medical attention because she "knew it would make her look like an abusive mother."
Arrest records show that Taylor sent texts to Gray that showed pictures of the injuries the toddler sustained while in his care. Taylor finished the interview with detectives by saying he was "not aware of his own strength and didn't mean to abuse the child," records show.
Gray and Taylor both remain in jail as of Thursday morning.