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Deputies: Tallahassee woman failed to get help for physically abused child

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Posted at 12:26 PM, Apr 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 13:04:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A Tallahassee woman is behind bars for child neglect after deputies say she failed to seek medical help for a child in her care who suffered severe head trauma from being physically abused.

According to court documents, Leon County deputies responded to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital in regards to a child abuse report on Feb. 29.

Medical staff reported severe swelling at the top of the child's head, missing clumps of hair from his head, and bruises under his eyes and head. Documents say the child's diaper was full due to not being changed in a very long time. As a result, the diaper had caused a severe rash on the child's skin and an infection.

Due to the seriousness of his condition, the child was placed in ER Trauma and given a CT scan. Investigators say the test results showed that the child's injuries were consistent with scalping, which is when the scalp was separated from the top of his skull, causing the space to fill up with blood.

According to the test results, the severe swelling was caused by blood pooling in between the skull and the scalp. Documents say medical staff advised investigators that the child's injuries were caused by having his hair pulled severely.

Court documents say the child had been brought into ER a few weeks earlier to be treated for an injury to his eye and a bruise on his back.

Deputies say that while the child was being treated in the hospital, DCF began investigating a child abuse report they received from the Abuse Hotline that involved the victim.

During the investigation, deputies interviewed Rebecca Hyatt, 22, as a witness of the abuse incident.

Hyatt told deputies that the child had been dropped on his head by her live-in boyfriend that was holding him and said that the swelling in the child's head came from the fall.

Deputies say Hyatt couldn't give any details of how the child fell or when the incident occurred but said that she didn't harm the child. Hyatt also denied that anyone had pulled the child's hair, but said that if someone had hurt the child, it would've been her live-in boyfriend.

In addition, Hyatt told deputies that she didn't seek medical attention for child because she was scared and didn't know what to do.

In March, investigators received a final medical report that found the child showed symptoms of a concussion. The report also stated that the child's injuries could have been fatal due to the amount of brain trauma and loss of blood he experienced.

Deputies say they have not been able to locate and interview Hyatt's boyfriend.

According to documents, Hyatt was arrested and transported to the Leon County Detention Facility on Monday. She is being held without bond on a child neglect with great bodily harm charge.

Court documents say the child was released into the custody of his father.