The mother of a 1-year-old Independence boy whose life-threatening injuries led to her boyfriend being charged with child abuse has now been charged as well.
Jackson County prosecutors charged 20-year-old Jorden Schulenberg with two felony counts of child endangerment in connection with her child's injuries.
Her boyfriend, 19-year-old Carlos Alaniz, was charged after he allegedly punched the child several times in the torso June 30 and admitted to police that he had hit and kicked the child earlier in the month, causing bruises on his body.
Schulenberg and Alaniz, who is not the boy's father, were taking the baby to the hospital June 30 after Schulenberg had returned from a quick grocery run and noticed the baby was pale and had bluing lips. They believed it was because the boy's 2 1/2-year-old brother had been “pouncing” on the boy's stomach briefly, according to court documents.
The couple got lost, and eventually Kansas City police and paramedics took them to Children's Mercy Hospital, where personnel there told police the baby had life-threatening injuries that indicated child abuse.
Schulenberg said she had seen bruising on the baby before and questioned Alaniz about it, but he denied hitting the baby and blamed the older brother.
According to court documents, a paternal relative of the baby showed police a picture of the baby from early May with bruises that Schulenberg claimed were rashes.
The EMT who drove the ambulance with the baby told police she thought the baby was dead when they arrived, noting its penis was discolored and discharging blood. She said Schulenberg, who rode in the front cab, said she was not going to get in trouble for what her older son did, appeared “stone cold” and spent a lot of time on her phone during the ride to the hospital.
Schulenberg later told police she had immediately called 911 from her apartment when noticed the baby was pale and stayed on the line, contradicting an earlier interview with police in which she said they called 911 after getting lost on the way to the hospital. Schulenberg again said she did not suspect Alaniz of abuse – that he would deny any wrongdoing and blame the older boy.
Earlier, Alaniz had told police he never admitted the abuse to his girlfriend because he didn’t want her to know he was “beating her kid up.” He also said he didn’t like that the boy looked like his biological father, whom Alaniz did not like much.
Schulenberg's bond has been set at $50,000. Alaniz is being hold on $100,000 cash bond.