INVERNESS, Fla. - A Florida woman is being held without bond after investigators say she hit a baby multiple times in the head and face.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office responded to a call about a verbal disturbance on Monday. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found an infant with multiple bruises and swelling on the face and head. The sheriff's office said the baby was breathing, but not alert or responsive.
The infant was immediately airlifted to the hospital for emergency treatment, while detectives interviewed the suspect, 36-year-old Jessica Figueroa from Merritt Island, Florida.
According to investigators, Figueroa claimed the baby had been injured in a fall, but medical staff said the trauma was abusive in nature.
During an interview with detectives, Figueroa admitted to hitting the infant multiple times in the head and face, but claimed she had lapses in memory of the past weekend.
The sheriff's office said Figueroa also admitted that she had noticed the baby was having medical issues and did not seek treatment.
"It is never easy for law enforcement officers, even seasoned detectives, to work cases of this nature," said Sheriff Mike Prendergast in a statement. "Children are precious, and it is the responsibility of every adult to nurture and protect them. Figueroa abandoned this responsibility, physically harming the child and denying them proper medical treatment."
Deputies arrested Figueroa for aggravated child abuse and child neglect. She is being held without bond.
Figueroa's relationship to the child was not released. There was no information on the victim's condition.
Child abuse can be reported by calling the Florida Department of Children and Families at 1-800-962-2873.