42-year-old foster mother, Michelle Lee Hayes, was arrested last week for injury to a child after she allegedly abused a toddler in her care, causing bruising, swelling and bleeding to the child's brain.
According to our KTBS media partner, the Marshall News Messenger, the arrest affidavit states the foster mom changed her story multiple times when speaking with police before admitting to slamming the toddler's head against his crib, excessively squeezing his face, thumping his back, and striking him with a spoon.
Hayes was arrested on Friday for the crime. She was released on a $150,000 bond on Saturday.
The child was initially taken to Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center in Marshall on May 2, where Hayes allegedly told medical officials the child suffered the injuries from falling off a playground. The ER physician informed investigators that her story did not match with the severity of the boy's injuries.
The toddler was then transferred to Dallas Children's Hospital.
Shari Pulliam, media specialist for Child Protective Services said as soon as they learned of the injuries, CPS responded immediately removing the toddler and his two siblings from the home.
"It's very upsetting to us when we entrust the care of the children that we are responsible for being parents to, to someone else like a foster parent and something like this happens," said Pulliam. "It affects every single one of us, from the investigator to the foster care worker, to the person who licensed that home."
Hayes was a new foster parent - the children had only been in her care since April. Both of the toddlers siblings were evaluated and determined to be unharmed.
Pulliam added that she hopes situations like this do not discourage potential foster parents from coming forward to take care of children, because CPS desperately needs fosters at this time.
Pulliam said CPS currently has a statewide shortage of foster parents, which forces them to re-home children multiple counties away from their originating home, putting a huge strain on their system. Pulliam added CPS encourages anyone with the compassion in their heart to care for a child to step forward and join the foster system.
Those interested in becoming a foster parent can contact their local Department of Family Service's office or visit the website www.dfps.state.tx.us.