Mom of Baby Found With Skull Fracture Said Feeding Him Was 'Annoying': Cops

A Florida mother who reportedly said feeding her child was "sometimes annoying" has been charged after the malnourished baby was found with a skull fracture, according to local police.

Haylee Kent, 21, was charged with child neglect after police were notified that a child was being treated at a Jacksonville hospital for serious injuries and malnutrition.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least one in seven children has experienced child abuse or neglect in the U.S. The CDC added in 2020, 1,750 children died as a result of child abuse and neglect in the United States.

A Baker County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) spokesperson said in a Facebook post on Monday that officers were notified by Wolfson Children's Hospital staff on April 6 that an 8-month-old was being treated. Detectives later learned the infant was taken to the hospital by his grandmother when she noticed he was severely underweight.

Kent mug shot and walking to jail
Haylee Kent was charged with multiple counts of child neglect after her baby was deemed malnourished and had a fractured skull. The above composite photo shows Kent's mug shot and Kent walking handcuffed into a detention center. Getty

The Facebook post continued: "Medical staff described the child's general appearance as gravely ill due to life-threatening starvation which resulted in the 8-month-old infant weighing the average weight of a 2-month-old."

The child had suffered a skull fracture at some point before being admitted to the hospital, according to the BCSO.

Police said that Kent did not visit her child in hospital or cooperate with the Department of Children and Families during their investigation. She agreed to meet with officers several days later and on April 19, met with detectives for a follow-up interview which resulted in Kent being charged with multiple counts of child neglect.

"Through the investigation and Kent's admission, detectives established that the victim suffered a pattern of neglect since the day he was born. This neglect consisted of a lack of necessary medical attention, malnourishment and failure to provide a safe home environment," the BCSO said.

"During her final interview, Kent told detectives she felt the way her child needed to be fed was sometimes annoying, so she just opted not to do so. Despite the sad circumstances surrounding this investigation, BCSO is pleased the victim is recovering, gaining weight, and has been placed in foster care because of this investigation."

Police confirmed Kent was later charged with child neglect with and without great bodily harm.

According to ChildHelp, an organization that campaigns against child abuse, every year more than 4 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 4.3 million children. It added the U.S. "has one of the worst records among industrialized nations," where an average of five children die due to abuse and neglect.

Newsweek contacted the BCSO for comment.