Category Archives: Child Innocence

Where Are Your Children?

.jpg photo of Child Vehicular Heatstroke graphic
#HotVehicles Are Not #BabySitters

#HotVehicles are not #BabySitters

In 2018, 51 Children died from heatstroke in a hot, locked vehicle.

I think everyone will agree that too many Children have lost their lives in HOT CARS.

The average number of U.S. child vehicular heat stroke deaths is 38 per year. (one every 9 days)

Eighty‐eight percent (88%) of children who have died from vehicular heat stroke are age 3 and younger.

Fifty‐four percent (54%) of heat stroke deaths in vehicles involve children age one and younger.

See a child alone in a car?  Get involved!  Call 911 ASAP#HeatstrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock

The summer of 2016, Blair Corbett, Founder of Ark of Hope for Children, and I put our heads together and came up with an effective way to slow, and hopefully stop this killer of Our Children.

  1. Share this with everyone
  2. Use and share Our Hashtag: #HotVehicles are not #BabySitters
  3. Set a “TASK” with alarm in smartphone every time you drive Child/Children, set alarm 10-30 minutes early before arrival at destination to drop off Child/Children (depending on distance).
  4. DO NOT TURN OFF ALARM UNTIL CHILD/CHILDREN ARE DROPPED OFF, CONTINUE TO HIT SLEEPER, SET AT 5 MINUTES, UNTIL TASK IS COMPLETED.

NOT IN MY WORLD!!!! uses kidsandcars.org because we have found these great people go the extra mile to help and they have great resources.  Here is their Heatstroke Fact Sheet.

The difference between life or death is minutes in a hot car.  #HeatstrokeKills #LookBeforeYouLock

MO Daycare Worker Charged With Abuse Of Toddler

.jpg photo of daycare worker charged with child abuse
Natalie Rhyneer was arrested and charged with two counts of child abuse.

Rolla, MO daycare employee arrested,
charged with Child Abuse

ROLLA, MO  –  A Rolla daycare employee has been arrested and charged after allegedly abusing a child at the Immanuel Lutheran School.

According to court documents, a detective with the Rolla Police Department was assigned to follow up on an allegation of child abuse on January 14th.

When the detective got to the school, he was met by a mother of a two-year-old boy. That mother told the officer her son had injuries when she picked him up on January 9th that he did not have when she had dropped him off.

The detective watched several days of surveillance video from the classroom where Natalie Rhyneer was supervising that boy.

According to court documents, officers say Rhyneer is seen twisting and flicking the boy’s ear in one of the videos.

In a different video, police say Rhyneer picked the boy up and rocked him while he was crying.

Court documents say in that video, Rhyneer can be heard saying “stop hurting me” to the child.  The boy cries but those cries are muffled as Rhyneer holds his face against her chest.  Police say the boy begins to struggle and pull away.  He lies on the floor, and police say Rhyneer covers his mouth.

While the two-year-old was lying on his stomach on the floor, police say Rhyneer is seen laying on top of him saying “stop it.”

Court documents say Rhyneer then places her hand on the back of his head, pulls a pillow to his face, and muffles his cries.

Police say the boy kicks and stiffens his legs and stops crying.  After a few seconds, police believe the boy regains consciousness and starts crying again.

Court documents say police took the video to a child abuse physician who said the video and images showed actions and injury consistent with suffocation.

Rhyneer was charged with two counts of child abuse and was arrested Thursday morning.  She posted a $50,000 bond.  There is a hearing set for April 2nd.

A Reporter with one person with the church who did not want to be identified.  That source said the congregation of the Immanuel Lutheran Church voted to shut the school down completely shortly after these allegations surfaced in January.

The closure of the school is something the congregation had thought about in previous years because of declining enrollment, according to that source.

The church did not have any official statement on the arrest. 

Domestic Violence Big Part Of Utah Child Abuse Case

.jpg photo of man that made death threats toward child to mother
Daniel Mercer, 28

Utah couple charged with child abuse
after 3-month-old girl suffers broken bones, brain bleeding and severe burns

SPANISH FORK, UT  –  A Spanish Fork couple was charged Friday after their three-month-old child was taken to the hospital with bad burns on her body, and other injuries consistent with child abuse, investigators said.

According to a probable cause statement released by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, officers were contacted by the Department of Child & Family Services to investigate an aggravated child abuse case involving a three-month-old girl.

Investigators went to the University of Utah, where doctors said the baby had second-degree burns on her hand, two broken bones, brain bleeding consistent with shaken baby syndrome and a possible detached retina in her eye.

Doctors determined that the injuries the baby sustained were inflicted over the course of two weeks prior to her being admitted to the hospital, the statement said.

.jpg photo of abused child's mother
Whitney Huber, 30

The parents, identified as Whitney Huber, 30, and Daniel Mercer, 28, spoke with police about the incident, according to court documents.

After being interviewed by police, Mercer admitted to “recklessly causing the burns to his infant daughter’s left hand.”

“Daniel admitted to making death threats to the child and telling Huber when they fought on two recent occasions that he would, ‘kill the baby and make her watch as the baby died.’” the statement said.

Neither Huber or Mercer would tell police how the infant sustained the other injuries doctors said she had, police stated.

Mercer was charged Friday with two counts of child abuse – inflict serious physical injury intentionally, both second-degree felonies, possession of a controlled substance, a class-A misdemeanor and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class-B misdemeanor.

Huber was charged one count of child abuse, inflict serious physical injury recklessly, a third-degree felony.

Support is available 24/7 in Utah for those dealing with domestic violence.  Visit the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition online or call 1-800-897-5465 for resources and assistance.  In an emergency, dial 911.

Kentucky Toddler Beat With Leash

.jpg photo of Kentucky toddler beat with dog leash
Jaxsin Fellows is pictured one week after an alleged beating that Jaxsin’s father says involved a dog leash.

`Dad says dog leash used in NKY Child
Abuse case.  Investigator calls it ‘worst
I’ve seen’

Boone County, KY  –  A dog leash was used to whip a 3-year-old boy in Northern Kentucky, according to the boy’s father.

Jaxsin Fellows suffered facial abrasions, a swollen eye and chipped teeth.  He needed five stitches.

His father, Nick Fellows of Erlanger, Kentucky, said his son’s mother, Karen Spurlock, told him a dog leash was used in the beating.

Spurlock and her boyfriend, Shane C. Sasher, face criminal abuse and second-degree assault charges in the incident.  They initially blamed the boy’s injuries on a fall down stairs, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office said.

The pair “thought he was deceased” the morning after the alleged assault, the sheriff’s office said.

Sgt. Philip Ridgell said he and other investigators were appalled by what they discovered.

“In my experience, it’s one of the worst (cases) I’ve seen,” Ridgell said.

Jaxsin’s paternal grandmother, Diane Fellows, established a GoFundMe account to defray medical and rehabilitation bills as well as future legal bills for custody of Jaxsin.

More than $1,200 has been raised toward a $10,000 goal.

Nick Fellows said he also hopes to donate to another family suffering similarly and to ProKids.org of Cincinnati, which works to break the “vicious cycle of child abuse and neglect.”

Jaxsin had been staying with his mother and Sasher in the 10000 block of Irish Way in Union, Kentucky at the time he was beaten, according to Ridgell.

On Sept. 18, medical professionals at St. Elizabeth Edgewood notified law enforcement that Jaxsin had “significant facial injuries consistent with abuse,” including abrasions and contusions beneath his eyes and to his forehead, temples and cheeks.

Over the course of a three-day probe, the sheriff’s office said, investigators learned the boy was alone in the residence with Spurlock and Sasher the night before.
After suffering separate assaults, the sheriff’s office said, the victim was given Motrin and put to bed.  Spurlock and Sasher attempted to wake him up the next morning, and before he awoke they believed he may be dead.

Detectives found inconsistencies in their statements, according to authorities. Spurlock said Sasher told her not to report the initial injuries the boy suffered from the first assault.

Neither Spurlock nor Sasher has confessed to meting out the abuse, Ridgell said. They’re charged equally because they were the only ones in the home when the alleged abuse occurred.

Spurlock and Sasher’s bonds were set at $100,000, Ridgell said.  They remain in custody at the Boone County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 1.

KY Mother And Boyfriend Abuse Toddler

.jpg photo of man charged with abusing toddler
Shane Sasher, was charged Friday with abusing a 3-year-old child.

Two people assaulted 3-year-old, thought he was dead the next morning, police say

BOONE COUNTY, KY  –  Two Northern Kentuckians were arrested Friday for allegedly abusing a 3-year-old child, according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

.jpg photo of mother charged with abusing toddler
Karen Spurlock was charged Friday with abusing a 3-year-old child.

Shane C. Sasher and Karen Spurlock face criminal abuse and second-degree assault charges in incidents that left a boy badly beaten.  The pair “thought he was deceased” the next morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

The boy, Spurlock’s son, lived with his mother and Sasher in the 10000 block of Irish Way in Union, Kentucky.

On Tuesday, medical professionals at St. Elizabeth Edgewood notified law enforcement that the boy had “significant facial injuries consistent with abuse,” including abrasions and contusions beneath his eyes and to his forehead, temples and cheeks.

The victim’s left eye was swollen shut.

Over the course of a three-day probe, the sheriff’s office said, investigators learned the boy was alone in the residence with Spurlock and Sasher the night before.

After suffering separate assaults, the sheriff’s office said, the victim was given Motrin and put to bed.  Spurlock and Sasher attempted to wake him up the next morning, and before he awoke they believed he may be dead.

They later took him to the hospital, blaming the injuries on a fall down stairs, the sheriff’s office said.

Detectives found inconsistencies in their statements, according to authorities. Spurlock said Sasher told her not to report the initial injuries the boy suffered from the first assault.

The child is now in the custody of a relative.

Sgt. Philip Ridgell, a spokesman for the Boone County sheriff’s office, said Spurlock and Sasher are in custody at the Boone County Jail.  No bond or arraignment date has been set.