Babysitter facing jail time for shaking a 5-month-old

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TROY, MO (KPLR) - A babysitter accused of shaking a 5-month-old baby from Troy, Missouri is now charged with felony child abuse.  FOX 2’S Rebecca Roberts spoke exclusively with the parents of this baby, who is still suffering the consequences of being shaken.

Mariah Ramirez and Derek Podany discovered charges had been filed against their babysitter while they were at Cardinal Glennon.  Daniel, now 7 months old, just had surgery to relieve thickening blood in his brain.

Daniel is a happy, friendly baby, but on July 22nd, after spending the day with his babysitter, 23 year-old Brittany Rezendes, his parents noticed he seemed sluggish, and then became violently ill.

Cardinal Glennon doctors said Daniel had been shaken and suffered a subdural hemorrhage, with blood behind his eyes and two fractured ribs.

As a precaution in an abuse situation, the Lincoln County Department of Social Services took Daniel from his parents, and put him in his grandmother’s custody.

On August 13th, St. Charles County Detective Kevin Knobbe says the babysitter confessed to authorities.  Despite the babysitter’s video-recorded confession, DSS kept Daniel away from his parents for another two weeks.

Now, just four days after their joyful reunion, the family is back in the hospital.  It’s tough for Daniel’s mother to watch her baby squirm in his hospital crib, and try to pull out his IV’s.  She says, “He’s almost 7 months old and he’s been in the hospital so many times in his short period of life.  I didn’t want his life like this.”

To make matters worse, these parents say the Department of Social Services has cited them for failing to protect their son, since he came home with bruises once before. The babysitter, once this mother’s best friend, had said it was an accident.  Ramirez explains, “If somebody tells you an accident happened, another child knocked another child out of a swing, and they’re your best friend, you’re not going to automatically think, oh she abused him. I mean, I trusted her.”

A DSS spokesperson says they are not at liberty to discuss the way this case was handled.  Regarding their policies in general, this spokesperson simply stated that it’s up to a juvenile court judge to determine whether a child should be removed from or returned to the parents’ custody.​