COCOA, Florida – The mother and father of a two-month-old infant are facing charges of attempted murder and aggravated child abuse following an investigation into injuries the child suffered.
On Wednesday morning, Cocoa police responded to a call from Rockledge Regional Medical Center after a two-month-old infant was admitted into the emergency room for broken ribs and seizures.
Police say that the baby had multiple fractures in her ribs, legs, and skull.
The infant also had visible bruises on her forehead and suffered from bleeding in the brain.
She was conscious but appeared lethargic and weak. The child was transported to another hospital for specialized treatment of her injuries.
Cocoa Police detectives then began an investigation into the circumstances that caused the severe injuries.
After interviewing witnesses and both parents, detectives learned that 27-year-old Dexter Williams, of Cocoa, Florida, would allegedly strike and shake the baby.
Investigators say that both Williams and 26-year-old Stephanie Marie Hylard, also of Cocoa, Florida, were responsible for the baby’s injuries and neither parent sought medical attention for at least five days.
Witnesses told investigators that Williams punched the child with a closed fist when she cried.
The witnesses also described him violently shaking the infant.
Investigators say that both parents had a role in the abuse.
“Mr. Williams and Ms. Hylard knowingly and willfully abused the infant. They tried to hide the abuse by using makeup to cover the bruises,” said Detective Julio Gomez.
“Based on the severity of the injuries and the clearly visible nature, the parents should have known that this could have resulted in the infant’s death, yet they failed to seek medical attention. They had no sense of urgency.”
Hylard and Williams are being held without bond and will face a judge at an initial appearance at the Brevard County Jail later today.
The couple has two other children each from previous relationships.
All of the children are in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services.