AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police responding to Dell Children’s Hospital on Oct. 6, 2016, found a two-month-old baby girl with more than two-dozen broken bones throughout her body, including her pelvis and multiple ribs, according to an arrest warrant.
In addition, the baby had elevations in certain enzymes associated with “trauma to internal organs,” the affidavit states.
Police have charged Joel Ortiz Rodriguez Jr., 20, with injury to a child, a state-jail felony. Rodriguez helped watch the baby for the baby’s mother, who has a full-time job and attends school, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, Rodriguez admitted to police he had been “too aggressive” with the baby and he “felt frustrated.” Rodriguez told police he held the baby too tight and “heard her bones pop in her chest/back area.” Rodriguez also told police that he got frustrated that the baby would not stop crying and he pushed down on the baby’s pelvic area with his body weight and pushed her away.
Rodriguez said he could tell the baby was losing weight, and he tried to force her to eat by pushing a bottle in her mouth, the affidavit states.
The baby’s mother told police she “notice a crunching sound in her daughter’s ribs” about two weeks prior to an October 2016 interview with police. At that time, the mother said the baby was beginning to have trouble eating, according to the affidavit.
When police spoke with doctors at the hospital on Oct. 6, they were told the victim had numerous bone injuries both acute and healing, bruising over her body and a laceration to her tongue. The fractures included 17 to the ribs, both wrists and the pelvis. Four more breaks were found later, police said.
Doctor’s found that the baby’s body weight had dropped below the first percentile, and she was diagnosed with failure to thrive. The baby was not diagnosed with any bone or blood disorders that would account for her injuries, according to the affidavit.
KXAN is calling Child Protective Services to find out what will happen with the baby.