San Angelo first found the girl unconscious Sunday morning in the Texas town of San Angelo at a residence located on the 2200 block of Webster Avenue. They immediately knew that something was wrong with the little girl.
Medical personnel immediately transported the little girl to Shannon Medical Center for treatment. It was there that medical professionals were able to confirm the sad truth that this baby girl had been injected with heroin, as she had puncture marks on both of her extremities and on her head.
Later on, they tested the infant’s urine, and it came back positive for heroin, confirming their suspicions that this little girl had been the victim of some severe abuse. To make matters worse, the young child had not had any medical care whatsoever since it had been born at the residence two months prior.
Because the infant was literally on her deathbed, San Angelo medical staff ultimately transferred her to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. She was on life support for a few days and she would eventually die on November 12th. Police have ordered an autopsy.
After the detectives conducted their investigation, they learned that the infant’s mother, 21-year-old Destiney Harbour, had given birth to the girl at the San Angelo residence in August. Additionally, they learned that Harbour’s mother, 37-year-old Christin Bradley, and Bradley’s boyfriend 34-year-old Dustin Smock, had been assisting with the care of the infant. Of course, it probably wasn’t the best care considering that the child hadn’t received any medical assistance at all during her short life.
Officials also executed a search warrant within the home, and it was then that they found drug paraphernalia and small quantities of suspected marijuana, unknown pills, methamphetamine, and heroin. They immediately took Harbour, Bradley, and Smock into custody and they all are facing a charge of the first-degree felony of serious bodily injury to a child. Moreover, the charges could be upgraded now that the child has died.
Dr. Jamye Coffman is the medical director of the CARE team at Cook Children’s Hospital, and that is the child abuse program. He said that they get numerous cases of child abuse, including a lot after the COVID-19 epidemic hit.
“After the COVID-19 lockdowns, we definitely saw a bit of a blip up in the severity of the cases for a few months,” he said. After that though, the overall number of cases has gone down.
She also noted that she thought that the overall cases this year would probably be fewer. 2019 saw this hospital have 2,000 abuse visits with 1,800 unique patients. This is comparable to 2020, in which they have only had 1,300 visits with 1,200 patients. However, the severity of the cases has increased.
“Unfortunately, it does appear that we are going to increase the number of deaths from 2019,” Dr. Coffman said. This is because there were only five child abuse deaths reported through the whole entirety of 2019. However, just through October 2020 Dr. Coffman’s unit has already had the misfortune of having six deaths due to child abuse.
Of course, not all of the cases that are referred to Dr. Coffman’s team end up being classified as child abuse. However, of the ones that do wind up being classified as child abuse, 50% of the cases are usually sexual abuse, 25% are due to physical abuse, and the other 25% are due to neglect or drug exposure.
“There’s never a rhyme or reason to abuse. After tracking it for 20 years, we now realize that there’s no specific season to it. We have to ready all of the time for whatever challenge it might throw at us. When it happens, it happens,” Dr. Coffman said.
If you are concerned about abuse or neglect, simply do a Google search to find the local numbers or emails for your given area.