Jorden N. Schulenberg, 20, of Independence, is accused of failing to seek medical treatment for her child and of leaving him with her boyfriend who, according to a court document, admitted to police that he had been striking him for a month. Carlos E. Alaniz, 19, was charged earlier this month with felony child abuse.
Police were called June 30 to Children‘s Mercy Hospital where the boy was placed on a ventilator. He had a lacerated liver, several broken ribs and bruises all over his body. He showed signs of previous brain injury.
According to investigators, Schulenberg told them she had seen her 2 1/2-year-old son “pouncing” up and down on the younger boy’s chest and stomach at the apartment they shared with Alaniz at 525 Stonearch Drive.
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Schulenberg said she fed the little one, put him in his crib for a nap and then drove to a nearby gas station to get some soda, leaving the boys with Alaniz. When she returned, she said, she noticed that the 1-year-old looked pale with lips turning blue.
Alaniz also told police he had seen the older boy bouncing up and down on the younger one. But he and Schulenberg, talking separately to police, gave contradictory accounts of which adult was driving to the hospital.
Alaniz allegedly then told police he lied to cover for Schulenberg, whom he said he had seen trying to suffocate the victim. According to a court document, Alaniz then admitted to punching the boy at least six or seven times in the torso on June 30 because he wouldn’t stop crying. Alaniz allegedly told police the abuse began a month earlier and involved slapping, hitting and kicking the victim in the head.
Earlier this week the victim’s paternal great aunt provided investigators with photos of multiple bruises on the boy’s head, lower back and buttocks. She said Schulenberg told the family the bruises were actually a rash.
The EMT who drove the ambulance to Children‘s Mercy told police she thought the boy was dead. She said Schulenberg, who rode in the front of the ambulance, was “stone cold,” not crying and spent a lot of time on her phone.
Alaniz is the boyfriend of the child‘s mother. Both he and the mother initially told police that her 2 1/2-year-old son had been seen Saturday “pouncing” or “bouncing” on the younger boy’s head and chest at an apartment they shared in Independence. The younger boy was placed in his crib but was later observed to be pale with lips turning blue.
Prosecutors asked that bond be set at $100,000. If found guilty, Alaniz could be sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.