NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (WKMG) A mother has been arrested after her toddler was taken to a hospital with burns, bruises, missing teeth and other serious injuries, according to the New Smyrna Beach Police Department.
The investigation began on Sept. 4 when police were called to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach due to the severity of the little girl’s injuries.
Police said the child suffered bruising to her entire body that was in various stages of healing, a cut under her chin, bruises on both sides of her face and her forehead, a burn on the back of her left knee, burns on both of her feet, missing teeth and she had gray gums. The burns the girl suffered were small and circular as if they were caused by a lit cigarette, the affidavit said.
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The child will turn 2 years old in November.
The toddler’s mother, Amber Hall, 25, was with her daughter at the hospital, police said. Her husband Harold Hall, who is the child’s stepfather, was at the Blue Heron Motel where the family had been living for approximately six weeks.
Neither Amber nor Harold Hall could provide information that accurately explained the severity of the toddler’s injuries, the report said.
Harold Hall, 35, told investigators that it’s possible the child fell off her tricycle or out of his truck, according to authorities. Police said Amber Hall was more concerned about her phone being taken as evidence than she was about the child’s wellbeing.
On Sept. 15, investigators also spoke to Harold Hall’s son who lived at the Blue Heron Motel with his family at the time of the incident. The boy told them that the victim would be punished almost daily for “throwing big fits” and would be shut in the bathroom for up to three hours, the report said.
He also told police that the little girl is treated differently than the other children and would be fed bread with peanut butter on it while other family members ate a better meal, according to the affidavit.
A search warrant was executed for the motel room during the investigation and police said they found several types of pills, drug paraphernalia that tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana residue, an assault rifle, the case for a handgun that had been reported stolen and a pillowcase with what appeared to be blood on it.
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Lt. Shane Riggle of the New Smyrna Beach Police Department said Amber Hall was arrested Tuesday night at a storage facility where she and her husband rented a unit. He said it’s possible that she was trying to leave town because she knew there was a warrant out for her arrest.
“We gained enough evidence for her arrest for child abuse and child neglect,” Riggle said. “It’s tragic. It’s a tragic event and we’re working with the State Attorney’s Office to continue working to get all the evidence we need in this case and charge everyone that’s involved.”
Harold Hall has been in the Volusia County Jail since Oct. 11 on charges that include grand theft over $100,000, resisting an officer without violence and possession of methamphetamine. He’s being held without bond.
Amber Hall was booked into the Volusia County Jail Tuesday on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect causing great bodily harm. She’s also being held without bond.
Police said the child is in the intensive care unit at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where she has been recovering for about a month.