Posted on March 5, 2010 at 4:23 PM
Friday, Mar 19 at 3:20 PM
(KMOV) -- A two-year-old girl is fighting for her life in a brutal case of alleged child abuse.
Investigators say Kraig Monroe, 24, severely beat his girlfriend’s daughter Amanda Runyon because the two-year-old was crying. Monroe is being held at the St. Clair County Jail on a $500,000 bond and has been charged with aggravated battery to a child. Amanda's mother was in custody but was released from the St. Clair County Jail Friday. The mother was served an order of protection to prevent contact with Amanda.
Police say the abuse happened at a home just outside Belleville, Illinois. According to investigators, Monroe was living with the mother and four children there. Detectives said he babysat Amanda for three days last week. That's when they say he repeatedly punched the Amanda in the stomach because she wouldn't stop crying. Amanda was sick and vomiting on Sunday, but she wasn't taken to a hospital until Monday morning.
Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis was the first to report the abuse to investigators even though another hospital and Illinois case workers saw Amanda before Cardinal Glennon.
The St. Clair County sheriff’s department is launching an investigation into the missed chances to report the abuse.
The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services reportedly knew about Amanda last month and Belleville’s Memorial Hospital cared for her this week, but no one told authorities.
Amanda is in critical condition with a feeding tube and authorities want some answers.
First from Memorial Hospital which investigators say admitted the girl at 10:00 a.m. on Monday with severe injuries, but never reported it.
Memorial Hospital gave News 4 this statement: "Memorial Hospital followed its abuse policy and contacted the Department of Children and Family Services."
They also want answers from the state, which apparently started an investigation of its own after Amanda suffered a broken leg on February 23.
Captain Steve Johnson with the St. Clair County sheriff’s department said, “When I found out that DCFS was notified that this child had a broken leg and they were looking into that, I was very shocked that we were not notified."
In fact, they weren’t notified until Amanda was transferred to Missouri.
Once doctors at Cardinal Glennon saw Amanda’s injuries late Monday afternoon, authorities were notified within two hours. Those injuries included severe abdominal trauma and pulled hair.
A hospital spokesman tells News 4 that as soon as doctors suspect abuse, state law dictates the next move.
A spokesperson for DCFS in Chicago says they did investigate suspicion of neglect involving Amanda last month, but they only talk to authorities once they find evidence of abuse. They say they will work with the sheriff in finding out exactly what happened in this case.
There were three other children in the home. At this point there is no evidence they were abused, but the investigation continues.
On Thursday investigators and St. Clair County Zoning and Animal Control responded to the residence. A Pit Bull was taken by Animal Control. The trailer was condemned due to unsafe living conditions as well as the power shut off. Kraig Monroe did not have an occupancy permit to live there.
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County officials issued a search warrant Friday for Monroe's home to be further processed by Illinois State Police.