Indicted: 4th Suspect in Child Abuse Case
ABILENE, TX – A fourth suspect has been indicted in connection to a baby who was found malnourished and “in danger of dying” at an Abilene home in January.
Breanna Morris was indicted for Endangering a Child by Omission on Thursday. Her roommate Justin Heiser was indicted on the same charge in April.
Both charges are connected to a child that lived in their home. The child’s parents, Evangelia and James Mayhall, were both indicted on a 1st Degree Injury to a Child charge in May.
Court documents say Heiser, a resident inside a home on the 200 block of Chapel Hill Drive, called 9-1-1 on January 4, 2016, to report a baby, 4.5 months, was not breathing.
“Emergency responders stated that when they entered the home, the smell of feces and urine was very strong and they observed feces rubbed into the carpet throughout the house,” the documents read.
All four adults and a six-year-old child also live in the home.
The baby was obviously malnourished and dehydrated, according to the documents.
She weighed only 6 lbs, 5 oz when she was removed from the home and taken to the emergency room. The physician who assisted in her birth says she weighed 6 lbs, 15 oz when she was born.
The emergency room physician did say the child was “in danger of dying at the time of her admission to the hospital,” according to the documents.
Abilene Police interviewed Morris and Heiser, and the documents say both admitted to noticing the child was losing weight – Morris claims she confronted the child’s mother, and Heiser claims he didn’t think the weight loss was a problem because the child has high metabolism and the mother had just switched to formula from breastfeeding.
The Mayhalls were arrested on February 18, 2016. Morris and Heiser were taken into custody shortly after when KTAB and KRBC News asked the public for help locating the suspects.
Police say the children were released into CPS custody when the initial incident was reported on January 4, 2016.