The Herald Bulletin

October 4, 2013

Police report: Mother, boyfriend regularly abused drugs around infant

By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ELWOOD — A probable cause affidavit published Thursday indicates the co-defendants in a case of alleged child neglect against a 2-month-old boy regularly abused drugs around the infant.

As of Thursday night, Tyler C. Arnold, 20, and Kaylee Kelley, 22, both of Elwood, were both incarcerated in Madison County Jail. Both are accused of mistreating Kelley’s child, who was last reported to be intubated in the intensive care unit at Riley Hospital for Children. Arnold is the son of Elwood Mayor Ron Arnold.

According to the affidavit, the Department of Child Services first received a report regarding the baby’s health on Sept. 23. A family case manager informed police the next day that the baby had suffered trauma to his brain causing subdural hemorrhaging and was experiencing seizures causing a lack of oxygen. The infant also suffered a fractured right femur and a broken left foot.

Dr. Ralph Hicks of Riley told police the damage seemed to have happened that weekend, and that more immediate care could have prevented complications in the child’s treatment. The doctor believed the damage was caused by violent shaking and impact against a hard surface. Hicks told police he believed the child would live, but might have permanent severe damage to his vision, hearing and speech.

According to the affidavit, Kelley reportedly told police that she and Arnold both regularly injected heroin, oxycotin and morphine. She said on that weekend, she and Arnold injected the leftover drug and pill residue from previous uses.

Kelley reportedly told investigators that on one occasion she saw Arnold shake the baby while telling him to “be quiet.” She said she was scared to tell police because Arnold allegedly told her they would go to jail if they took the baby to the hospital.

Arnold allegedly told her he was nervous because state police are investigating another crime in which he is a suspect, the affidavit said. Kelley said she believed Arnold, on another occasion, dropped the baby while Arnold was sleeping in a chair.

On Monday, Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna told The Herald Bulletin he would visit the infant this week to find out more about his condition. Hanna didn’t return phone calls Thursday.

In the affidavit, Kelley also told police that she was thinking of taking her child to the hospital before Monday, but that Arnold had been in text conversations with Hanna, who allegedly told Arnold not to come to the hospital because he and Kelley would be arrested for suspicious activity. Hanna denied this account on Monday.

In an interview with police on Sept. 26, Arnold denied hurting or shaking the infant, and said he was not in a relationship with Kelley. A roommate who lives in the 1000 block of North 11th Street in Elwood with Arnold later refuted that story, and told police that Arnold, Kelley and the child all live at the home.

According to court records, a warrant for Tyler Arnold’s arrest was issued Friday after a notice of violation of in-home detention was filed against him Thursday.

Arnold is under in-home detention stemming from a July 2011 case. In August, he pleaded guilty to three counts of Class D felony fraud and Class D felony theft and was sentenced to 24 months, of which 18 are to be served on in-home detention.

Kelley also has felony charges pending. According to court records, she faces charges of neglect of a dependent and possession of a syringe, both Class D felonies, for an incident in March. The trial is set to begin Oct. 8 in Judge Thomas Clem’s Madison Circuit Court 5.

Officially, Arnold faces charges of neglect of a dependent, aggravated battery, criminal recklessness and battery. Kelley faces charges of neglect of a dependent and maintaining a common nuisance.

According to Elwood City Public Information Officer Jeff Howe, Mayor Ron Arnold declined to comment for this story.

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