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2-year-old seriously injured after abuse, mother and boyfriend arrested

Posted at 5:39 PM, May 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 15:13:50-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A mother and her live-in boyfriend are behind bars in Leon County after their 2-year-old child was rushed to the hospital with severe injuries caused by abuse.

WARNING: This story contains details that may be too graphic for some readers.

Monday, May 6, around 11 a.m., the Leon County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 4700 block of Crossway Court in reference to a possible child abuse.

When deputies arrived on scene, they were advised the 2-year-old girl needed to be transported to the emergency room. The child was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries where she is still being treated.

According to court documents, the 2-year-old child suffered two brain bleeds, retinal hemorrhaging believed to be caused by Shaken baby syndrome and a stage 2 liver laceration among other injuries.

An arrest report says deputies were called to the home by a witness who said that he and and 23-year-old Clayton Pafford were at the home when the incident happened. The witness told investigators that he was getting ready to put in a load of laundry when he heard Pafford shouting for help.

When the witness came back in the home, he said he saw Pafford holding the child's "bloody limp body." He then asked Pafford "what did you do," but Pafford immediately started calling the child's mother, 26-year-old Heather Reid, for help instead of 911.

Documents say the witness quickly dialed 911 and Pafford became upset. Before law enforcement could arrive, Pafford stated to the witness that "I'm leaving. Don't tell anyone I was here."

When they spoke to the child's mother, Reid initially told deputies the child fell of a bed, which caused her injuries. However, the injuries observed were not consistent with a fall.

Eventually, she told them that she away from the home when the incident happened and was alerted to the incident by Pafford. She also admitted that this wasn't the first time an incident like this had taken place.

"[Reid] advised she noticed every time she left [the child] alone with [Pafford], she would return home and discover more injuries," court documents say.

When asked if she had ever filed a police report, she answered "No." When asked how long the abuse had been going on, she stated, "About a month and a half" and said she didn't report it to law enforcement because she was afraid of losing the child to the Department of Children and Families.

According to court documents, authorities were also contacted on April 14 about possible child neglect involving Reid. In that incident, Reid yelled "alarming statements" about not taking care of the child. At the time, hospital staff told investigators that the child was dirty, had bug bites, bruises and burn marks on her body. Documents note Pafford was also living with Reid at that time.

Through the investigation, probable cause was established for the Reid and Pafford's arrest. However, deputies say Pafford left the scene before law enforcement could arrive the night of May 6.

LCSO deputies, along with members of the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force and the Florida Highway Patrol, searched for Pafford all night.

On Tuesday, May 7, at about 11:30 a.m., a member of LCSO’s Special Projects Investigations Detection Enforcement Response (SPIDER) Unit and members of the Florida Highway Patrol located Pafford driving a vehicle on Back Forrest Road.

Authorities tried to stop the vehicle, but Pafford refused to stop, leading them on a chase through Leon County.

When a member of the SPIDER unit deployed stop sticks in the southbound travel lane of Old Woodville Highway during the chase, Pafford swerved toward the deputy onto a bike path next to the road. After barely missing the deputy, Pafford turned back onto Old Woodville Highway and crossed over Bob Miller Road.

Deputies say Florida Highway Patrol troopers then took the lead in the pursuit and utilized a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) to stop Pafford’s vehicle.

Pafford did not comply with the commands of the law enforcement officers to surrender and a LCSO K9 had to be used to take him into custody. Deputies say Pafford also had a passenger in the vehicle who he refused to let out while he led law enforcement on a chase.

Pafford was treated at a local hospital and taken to the Leon County Detention Facility.

When deputies spoke to Pafford, he said that he was outside and the witness was with the child when the incident took place. He said that the witness came out to him and said he needed help. Once Pafford went in, he told investigators that the child was taking shallow breathes of air.

Pafford told investigators that he started performing CPR on the child and denied being involved with the incident. He stated that he had left the home before law enforcement arrived because he had a warrant for his arrest.

He also told investigators that he knew of the injuries, but didn't report the injuries because he feared Reid would leave him. When asked if he was responsible for the injuries, documents say Pafford stated, "No, I love that little girl."

Documents say Pafford confirmed that he was a caregiver for the child when Reid wasn't home and admitted that the injuries on the child appeared to be consistent with abuse, however, he did not claim any responsibility for the injuries and stated that he didn't know who was responsible.

Based on the evidence, Pafford was charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest with violence, injuring a police dog, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Reid has been charged with child neglect with great bodily harm and child neglect without great bodily harm. She is being held in jail on a $20,000 bond.