IONIA, Mich. — Police say a babysitter is behind bars accused of inflicting horrifying physical abuse on an 8-month-old boy, who is currently recovering in the hospital from multiple skull fractures and broken ribs.
Rachel Pierson, the boy's mother, said there were never any signs her son Thomas was being abused. That all changed when the boy's doctor identified those fractures and other serious injuries, signs of physical abuse.
"I wanted to kill her," Pierson said about her son's caretaker. "I want her to be in jail forever."
Pierson is the mother of two boys. Thomas is her youngest.
Pierson says she and her husband were both at work when her babysitter of three months called and then sent a Facebook message telling Pierson that her baby was sitting on hardwood floor, playing, when he fell back and bumped his head. Pierson came home to find her son in the care of paramedics.
"This absolutely did not happen from him sitting on the floor and falling back and bumping his head," Pierson said. "The doctor said, 'These injuries could not have been sustained from the story the babysitter was giving. There’s a lot more to this that she is not telling you.'"
Pierson said doctors at DeVos Children's Hospital began expressing suspicions when additional CT scans identified multiple broken ribs from weeks prior to the alleged fall.
"[The injuries were] at least three weeks old, because they're almost healed," Pierson said. "We never thought he was being abused. The rib fractures were caused by something striking him. Something struck him."
Pierson says she and her husband were questioned by Child Protective Services as if they were the ones abusing the 8-month-old baby. But Pierson believes her babysitter, who was spending six days each week with her children, intentionally threw her baby to the floor.
"She admitted it, yes," Pierson said. "I don’t understand how someone can admit to throwing a baby."
Pierson says Facebook messages from her baby's caretaker prove she abused her child. One of them, sent at 10:27 Saturday morning, said: "All I know is that after being raped and abused most of my life I have some mental health issues, anger issues, and that day I snapped. I dropped him on the floor. He was supposed to go on his pillow. I didn't mean to hurt him. That's why I'm going to the mental health on Monday and try to get help."
Ionia Public Safety arrested the babysitter Monday evening on first degree child abuse charges. She's currently behind bars awaiting arraignment.
Thomas' family has started a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical expenses.