(KMOV) – A Centralia, Ill. couple has been charged with severely abusing their newborn infant when she would not stop crying on Wednesday.
According to authorities, a six-week old baby girl is hospitalized with severe permanent brain injuries after her father allegedly hit her in the head repeatedly.
Blake Allan Cook, 21, was charged with felony aggravated battery to a child and the child’s mother, Margaret Overstreet, 20, was charged with misdemeanor endangering the life or health of a child on Thursday.
Police say Cook repeatedly struck the child in the head with his fist and Overstreet knew of the abuse but permitted it to continue.
According to the report, Cook originally claimed to have gotten upset and threw a peanut butter jar against the wall which accidentally hit the baby. Overstreet later admitted to Cook hitting the infant when she began crying.
Investigators learned of the abuse when police say the parents allegedly threatened to accuse a relative of kidnapping if they took the baby to a hospital after noticing her bruised face.
Officers spotted the family of three walking a short distance from the Home Motel when police took custody of the injured infant. She was transported to an area hospital with a reported brain bleed on the left side of her head.
The parents were taken into police custody.
According to the arresting officer, this is the worst case of child abuse he had ever seen in his twenty-one years as an officer.
Bond for Cook has been set at $500,000. Overstreet was released shortly after being taken into custody.