Harlan Fredrick Steinert, age 29, and Cassandra Dee Smith, age 29 the parents of a 2 month old infant are in custody after being charged in Independence County Circuit Court with first-degree domestic battery.
Court documents stated the grandmother of the child brought the infant to White River Medical Center with a urinary tract infection and an unspecified mouth injury.
Court documents stated the infant had been left at the grandmother’s residence by the parents. The next day, the grandmother took the young child to the hospital because the baby was not eating properly and had a growth under the tongue. Doctors stated the mouth injury was consistent with force feeding and also stated the infant had injuries consistent with child abuse.
Authorities stated when the parents were brought in to be interviewed by law enforcement, Steinert was uncooperative at times, making claims that his stepmother was trying to take away the couple’s children.
When questioned about who might have been responsible for the infant’s injuries, Steinert blamed the injuries on another child stating the other child was a “rough kid” that “tried to help around the house and has tried to feed the small child,” according to the report.
Department of Human Services (DHS) was contacted and officials came to the hospital to interview the parents.
Following that interview, the child was put into DHS custody along with two other children that authorities said lived with the couple.
A drug screen was performed on the couple during their DHS interview and authorities found that Steinert and Smith both tested positive for meth and THC.
A skeletal survey of the child done at Arkansas Children’s Hospital showed the infant had breaks healing in both legs, multiple rib fractures and mouth injuries.
Steinert and Smith were arrested, bond has been set at $250,000.