Mom pleads not guilty to charges against her in death of 18 month old
Ada Bowman (from Gina Salazar's Facebook page)
Gina Salazar (from her Facebook page)
Bryant Sykes Jr
Updated October 22 at 4:35 PM CST: The mother arrested in connection with the death of an 18-month old girl in Joplin plead not guilty today.
Gina Salazar, 22, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering the prosecution of a felony.
Authorities say Salazar sent them on a hunt for the wrong suspect for the injuries of her child at the beginning of their investigation.
Ada Bowman, 18 months, died at a Kansas City hospital from head and internal injuries.
When authorities rescued the girl from a Joplin mobile home she was suffering from cardiac arrest.
Two other children who were in the home were put in protective custody.
Authorities say Bryant Sykes Jr., 24, is the correct suspect and is charged with second degree murder and has been bound over for trial.
A pre-trial conference trial for Salazar is set for November 19.
Updated September 5 at 4:10 PM CST: A man charged in the death of an 18 month old girl made his first appearance in court yesterday and was bound over for trial.
Bryant Sykes Jr. is charged with second degree murder in the death of Ada Bowman.
When authorities rescued the little girl from a Joplin mobile home in early August she was suffering from cardiac arrest along with head and internal injuries.
She was taken to a hospital but later died from her injuries.
An investigator testified Tuesday that the child's injuries were more severe than could be explained by the "accidents" her mother's boyfriend acknowledged during a probe of the girl's death.
The mother, Gina Salazar, is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering the prosecution of a felony.
Updated August 6 at 1:00 PM CST: Charges against Bryant Sykes Junior, 24, have been upgraded from first degree assault to second degree murder.
The murder charges were filed today in Newton County.
Eighteen month old Ada Bowman died Saturday morning in a Kansas City hospital due to injuries received last week.
When Newton County sheriff's deputies rescued the girl from a Joplin home she was suffering from cardiac arrest. Two other children who were in the home are in protective custody.
Bowman's mother, Gina Salazar, 22, is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering the prosecution of a felony. Authorities say she originally sent them on a hunt for the wrong suspect.
Salazar was found and arrested in Kansas City.
The Newton County sheriff's department says they do have the correct murder suspect in custody.
Sykes is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.
Updated August 3 at 12:30 PM CST: A warrant is issued for the arrest of the mother of a young Joplin girl found severely injured this week.
Gina Salazar, 22, is now charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering the prosecution of a felony.
One year old Ada Bowman is still on life support in a Kansas City hospital.
Authorities say Salazar originally sent them on a hunt after the wrong suspect.
The Newton County sheriff says he does have the correct suspect in custody.
Bryant Sykes Junior, 24, is facing charges of first degree assault.
Updated August 2 at 6:00 PM CST: A Joplin man is charged today in the case of a critically injured one year old girl. Police say the incident happened Tuesday night in a Joplin mobile home park on East 32nd Street. Bryant Sykes, Jr., age 24, has been arrested and now charged with first degree assault.
Many in the mobile home park where the child lived are in shock.
Seventeen year old Josh Yaws is visibly shaken as he describes going to his neighbor's home during a crisis.
"They were all crying and talking about their daughter and we asked them, and then an ambulance pulled up," says Yaws. "She (the girl's mom) kept saying there was a guy named Jay that was watching her while she went to the gas station for a few minutes, and when she came back, he took off out the door. They said she fell and she was not breathing but I guess they found out later it was totally different."
Bryant Sykes, Jr., boyfriend to the little girl's mother, is charged with first degree assault.
"She kept saying that 'Bryant killed my baby' and then her mother was talking to other people about how her grand baby was gone," Yaws told us.
Police say the one-year-old girl has two separate brain bleeds, with injuries to the liver, spleen and ribs.
"It's quite apparent that the extent of the injuries that this child has is probably due to child abuse," says Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Court documents show Sykes admitted he threw the baby hard enough on a bed she bounced back, and hit a coffee table.
Sykes then saw the baby's stomach swell but compared it to a "sprained finger".
After seven hours Sykes put the baby on a kitchen table in front of an air conditioner to cool her down.
The baby fell, hitting her chest on a chair, then was unresponsive.
Court documents show the baby is only being kept alive by "miracles of modern medicine" at a Kansas City Hospital.
It's the third serious case of suspected child abuse in Newton County in the past several weeks.
From July 2011 to June of 2012 the Children's Center of Southwest Missouri has seen 1,038 cases of reported child abuse - the most in the organization's 15 year history.
"So many of our parents are so young, that there is a lack of knowing what to do, or even thinking something like this could happen," says Kathi Olson of the Children's Center.
Child advocates say they don't necessarily think there are more cases of child abuse, but rather more awareness.
"I feel that the awareness in our area contributes to our numbers being higher," Olson says.
Two other children found in the mobile home are now in protective custody.
Updated August 2 at 12:10 PM CST: Prosecutors charge a Joplin man with first degree assault while the one-year-old he's accused of hurting hangs on to life by a thread.
Newton County deputies arrested Bryant Sykes, Jr. on Tuesday night. The 24-year-old had fled from a mobile home where his girlfriend's one-year-old daughter was suffering from cardiac arrest.
The baby was taken to Freeman West and then flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City with internal bleeding and severe head injuries.
"The mother told us that she had left this child and her other two young children with her boyfriend for 10 or 15 minutes - when she returned the child wasn't breathing," says Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland.
We're told the child is currently on life support.
A child abuse investigation is underway.
Updated August 1 at 4:50 PM CST: A one year old from Joplin is fighting for her life at a Kansas City hospital tonight after authorities respond to a report of child abuse.
Newton County sheriff's deputies responded to a child in cardiac arrest at a mobile home park in Joplin last night.
Paramedics took the child to Freeman West where she was then flown to Kansas City Children's Hospital with internal bleeding and severe head injuries.
Police arrested the mother's 24 year old boyfriend for child abuse.
"Over the years, you know, you'll have child abuse happen, normally not to this extent where the children are dying from it," says Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Sheriff Copeland says the child is in critical condition.
"It's been my experience with 30 years investigating incidents like this, if a child would fall off a kitchen table, could break an arm or a leg - it's quite apparent that the extent of the injuries that this child has is probably due to child abuse," says Sheriff Copeland.
Posted August 1, 2012 at 12:04 PM CST: A Four State one year old is fighting for her life at a Kansas City hospital after authorities respond to a case of child abuse in south Joplin.
A 24-year-old suspect is in custody facing charges of child abuse and possibly more.
Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland says his deputies were called to a home in the BYKOTA Mobile Home Park at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
When they arrived a one-year-old girl was in cardiac arrest, suffering from internal bleeding and severe head injuries.
At last report the child was in critical condition.
The sheriff says the suspect fled into the nearby woods but was later arrested.
The baby was taken to Freeman Hospital and then flown to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
More information will be posted as it is confirmed.
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