Parents charged after 5-week-old baby found to have 16 fractures, police say

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CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Two parents, both of Nanty Glo, are in prison and face felony charges after doctors found 16 fractures on their 5-week-old baby.

Parents 18-year-old Sylvia Kutchman and 19-year-old Robert Oaks Jr. are both being accused of child abuse after doctors at UPMC Children’s Hospital told investigators that the baby girl had 16 fractures to her body, according to charges filed.

The investigation began Nov. 5 when Blacklick EMS and Nanty Glo Borough police were dispatched to a “traumatic injury” at the parents’ home.

Oaks, who is the baby’s father, told police that at some point while he was swaddling her, he heard a “pop.” He also made a comment about not knowing his own strength, police noted. Later into the investigation, Kutchman made a remark that Oaks is “too rough with the baby.”

However, EMS officials reported that the baby was moving around, no bruising, no discomfort in her arm and no crying. They were able to give the baby a bottle and burp her.

Officials decided that Child & Youth Services (CYS) should follow up with the parents.

On Nov. 12, the baby was seen at Conemaugh hospital with a broken arm. She was transported to UPMC Children’s Hospital, which is when they discovered she had 16 fractures, according to the affidavit. At this time CYS and Pittsburgh Child Advocacy Center became actively involved in the case, and the baby was given to a foster family temporarily.

On Nov. 16, Kutchman and Oaks met with CYS and said they didn’t know what happened. They suggested that it “must be brittle bone disease,” and their dog jumped one time on the child.

Investigators also spoke with the grandparents of the baby as well as a family friend, both of whom were not in contact with the baby during the time frame in which the injuries occurred.

Then, in a video posted to Facebook by Kutchman on Nov. 9, police noted the baby could be seen moving everything except her left arm.

Doctors reported that the baby could not cause the injuries herself.

“There is no evidence of any underlying medical condition which would predispose her to these fractures,” doctors wrote in their report. “This is child abuse.”

Kutchman and Oaks each face felony counts of aggravated assault of a child and endangering the welfare of children as well as minor counts of simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

They’re lodged in Cambria County Prison as of Nov. 18 after both failing to post 10 percent of their $200,000 bail each. Their preliminary hearing is slated for Nov. 22.

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