Father jailed amid accusations of shaking baby

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Steven Schnell

LINCOLN COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – A three-month-old child will likely die as a result of injuries suffered at the hands of the baby’s father, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to a sheriff’s office spokesperson, deputies were called to St. Louis Children’s Hospital on Tuesday after medical staff alerted them over concerns of child abuse. Doctors said the infant was suffering from serious bleeding of the brain and detached retinas, symptoms commonly associated with shaken baby cases.

The child’s father, 25-year-old Steven Schnell of Moscow Mills, said he was with the baby and noticed the infant appeared to be choking. Schnell said he patted the child on his back and even shook the baby in an attempt to revive him. Schnell also said he tried CPR and the child eventually started breathing again.

When questioned further, Schnell said he opted against calling 911 or bringing the child to the hospital because he didn’t want to risk upsetting the child’s mother and breaking up with her. Schnell said he went online and researched choked and lethargic babies.

The baby’s mother noticed something was wrong with the baby and immediately brought him to Progress West Hospital. The infant was then airlifted to Children’s Hospital.

The child was placed on life support and is not expected to survive.

Schnell was charged with felony child abuse and remains in custody at Lincoln County Jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond.