Law enforcement in Wendover, Utah describes what they say is a complete tragedy which resulted in the arrest of two “parents” after the death of a fifteen-month-old child.
Last week authorities say they received a call about a young child who may have been in cardiac arrest and immediately dispatched local emergency medical treatment to the scene.
Officers were dispatched to the home on 571 S Red Cedar Way in Wendover, Utah only to find the 15-month-old child not breathing, but covered in bruises head to toe.
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The parents, April Carter and Nicholas Rutherford were both questioned about the bruises covering the child, and neither could provide a reason as to why such a young and innocent life had suffered in such a tragic way.
This provoked police to obtain a search warrant on the family's home, and upon entering they say they witnessed several children living in filth and described it as “detestable conditions”.
Investigators then took it upon themselves to contact the Utah Division of Child and Family Services concerning the welfare of other children living at the home.
DCFS entered and then removed an 11-year-old, 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-month-old pending further investigation into the parents.
Detectives then brought both parents back down to the police station for interrogating, where Rutherford claimed he was working midnights at the Montego Bay Casino in West Wendover.
He said that once he came home he found Carter sitting atop their child, not breathing, crying.
Rutherford said he went to contact 911 and Carter cried for him not to do so, and he was tired so he went to sleep.
Just this past Thursday the Officer of the Medical Examiner performed an external examination of the child's body and noted multiple bruises on the victim’s head, face, neck, chest, elbows, and feet. The Medical Examiner also obtained a spinal fluid sample, which contained blood consistent with head trauma.
Then Friday, after an autopsy the Medical Examiner said the child had suffered multiple broken ribs, which weren't consistent with the EMT resuscitation efforts, as well as severe brain swelling and brain hemorrhage, which were not the result of normal childhood developmental concerns, but were the result of severe blunt force trauma.
Tooele County Sheriff’s Deputies then brought in the couple for a follow-up series of questions, and Carter stated she actually tripped and fell on the young child. She refused, however, to state why she didn't contact 911.
Rutherford said that Carter had told her she would have confessed to anything incriminating, however, she proclaimed the accidental fall as a reason.
Both parents were placed under arrest and Carter was booked for child abuse homicide, obstruction of justice and an outstanding warrant. Rutherford was booked for child abuse and obstruction of justice.
Both of the suspects had lost custody of the child before due to their history of drug abuse and had only had the child for 33 days when the baby died.
A terrible tragedy, and now they're both behind bars.
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