Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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June 21, 2014

Shaken baby could have permanent blindness, officials say

Child released from hospital but long-term effects of injuries allegedly suffered at hands of mother not known

By TODD GLASSCOCK

A 3-month-old Mineral Wells girl was released into foster care June 11 from Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth after being treated for a traumatic head injury, allegedly received from her mother last month.

Although released from Cook’s, her injuries still put her at risk of permanent blindness from retinal hemorrhaging as well as mental deficiencies as she becomes older, said Mineral Wells police Det. Jeremy Hamscher, who has been investigating the case.

The girl had been receiving treatment at Cook’s since May 28 when she was reportedly brought to the hospital by her mother, Bobbie Lea Towles, 19, he said. Towles remains in Palo Pinto County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The child will remain in foster care until Child Protective Services completes its investigation of her biological father, he said. The father is allowed to visit the infant and is not suspected of any criminal activity.

When the baby was brought to the hospital last month, a CT scan revealed an occipital subdural hematoma, a head trauma consistent with shaken baby syndrome, Hamscher said. With this condition, blood flows between the dura (brain cover) and the skull; it can put increased pressure on the brain and cause neurological abnormalities that can lead to coma or death.

Hamscher said Cook’s reported the injuries as suspicious, leading police and an investigator from the Palo Pinto District Attorney’s office to investigate the mother and obtain a warrant for her arrest.

Towles was arrested May 28 and charged with injury to a child with the intent of serious bodily injury in Parker County by the Parker County Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team following leads from the police investigation, said police spokesman Lt. Randy Wright.

Towles has not spoken to police regarding the investigation, Hamscher said.

Towles was taking care of the father’s two other young children at the time of the incident, he said, and those children are now in the father’s custody.

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