The parents of a 3-month-old girl were arrested Tuesday after the baby was hospitalized with two broken arms, brain bleeding and severe burns on her hand, officials reported.
Investigators obtained a warrant to remove the infant from the care of Daniel Howard Mercer, 27, and Whittney Huber, 30. The couple were booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of second-degree felony child abuse resulting in serious and intentional injury.
This is the third biological child to be removed from Huber’s care, according to a police report from the Spanish Fork Police Department. The woman lost custody of two other children after she was charged with child abuse and neglect.
Spanish Fork police detectives responded to the University of Utah Burn Center on Monday after staff reported a child had suspicious injuries. Doctors said the 3-month-old girl had second-degree burns covering most of her left hand.
The next day, doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital said the baby also had two broken humerus bones on her left and right arm and brain bleeding consistent with being shaken. The infant suffered possible eye injuries that could also lead to loss of vision, investigators reported.
“It is still to be determined whether the infant child will need surgeries of many sorts to repair the damage done to her little body,” according to the police report.
Doctors said the injuries occurred sometime during the past two weeks. The baby will remain in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time, the probable cause report stated.
Officers arrested Mercer and Huber at their apartment in Spanish Fork after the couple returned from the hospital. The parents reportedly gave deceptive statements during initial interviews with investigators, according to the police report.
Huber is being held on a $10,000 bail. She told investigators she and the baby were often abused and assaulted by Mercer, according to the police report.
Mercer reportedly told officers he was being reckless on Monday and caused the burns to the baby’s hand. He also reportedly threatened Huber twice, saying that “he would ‘kill the baby and make her watch as the baby died,’” the police report stated.
Neither parent could explain how the infant sustained additional injuries while in their care. Police reported both have an extensive criminal history including drug possession, theft, fraud and domestic violence.
Mercer was arrested for two domestic violence violations in the past two months. He is being held on a $22,000 bail for a third-degree felony of child abuse and seven class B misdemeanors of assault, threat of violence, drug possession and domestic violence in the presence of a child.