Ft. Wayne MarketIndiana NewsLocal News

More details released in area child abuse case

(Supplied/Steuben County Jail)

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): We know more about what led to a 3-year-old being hospitalized with critical injuries and two adults in custody in Steuben County.

According to our Partners in News at ABC 21, the three-year-old girl was taken to the hospital Friday night with bruises all over her body, a punctured lung, internal hemorrhaging, and head injuries so severe the child is experiencing seizures and strokes.

Police say Derek Pierce of Kendallville, the child’s father, and his girlfriend Dakota McHenry of Fort Wayne are facing numerous child abuse charges stemming from an assault McHenry allegedly carried out while bathing the girl.

According to court documents, McHenry admitted to hitting the child’s head against a wall and faucet, and being rough with the child when she went limp while McHenry was trying to get her out of a bathtub.

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1 comment

Frank Sterle Jr. October 20, 2021 at 6:45 pm

It’s known that trauma from unhindered toxic abuse typically results in a helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it can act as a starting point into a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. I consider it a form of brain damage.

The lasting emotional/psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of prescribed or illicit self-medicating.

I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial child development science education by way of mandatory curriculum? If nothing else, the curriculum could offer students an idea/clue as to whether they’re emotionally/mentally compatible with the immense responsibility and strains of parenthood.

Nonetheless, the wellbeing of all children — and not just what other parents’ children might/will cost us as future criminals or costly cases of government care, etcetera — needs to be of importance to us all, regardless of how well our own developing children are doing. A mentally sound future should be every child’s fundamental right (up there with air/water/food), especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter.


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