Parents jailed after newborn hospitalized with skull, ankle fractures

Mocobizscene-Two South Florida parents brought their newborn daughter to the hospital less than two weeks after she was born with a wounded right ankle, but X-rays revealed more concerning injuries suggesting “severe physical abuse,” according to police.

Giovani Jose Garces, 26, of Opa-locka, and Jameelah Lakendra Cosper, 23, of Miami Gardens, are currently being charged with felonies related to severe child abuse and child negligence resulting in great bodily damage. The couple transported the newborn girl, who was born on January 15, to Hialeah Hospital on January 28 after “realizing that (her) right ankle was bruised,” according to an arrest report from the Opa-locka Police Department.

After discovering the girl had a fractured right ankle, the hospital’s doctors decided to take her to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital for more testing, according to the police.

A “more in-depth X-ray,” according to the police, showed a cracked skull, another significant injury. As a result, hospital workers began to suspect child abuse and reported it to the Florida Department of Children and Families as well as the police.

According to authorities, while the inquiry was ongoing, the DCF gave the infant to her aunt.

The arrest report contained redactions related to Garces’ original statement to police. According to police, on February 6, OLPD detectives carried out a search warrant at his residence on Northwest 30th Avenue and photographed several aspects of the murder scene.

Police said on February 12 that Dr. Walter Lambert, the head of the University of Miami Child Protection Team, had given them a medical evaluation:

A two-week-old infant girl was diagnosed with healing fractures to her right distal tibia and fibula in addition to a left-sided complex parietal skull fracture with extra-axial bleeding. The mother did not give the Hialeah Hospital ER any specific history of trauma, including this purported fall from the father’s arms. The father did, however, provide a history of falling from his arms when washing his daughter the day before the baby was admitted to the hospital. The fact that the parents did not seek emergency medical assistance following the fall from their father’s arms is especially concerning. The leg fractures were not explained by any specific injury occurrence mentioned by either parent. These wounds, in my medical view, are the result of serious physical abuse.

Dr. Walter Lambert, Child Protection Team, University of Miami (quote from arrest report)

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Sean O
Sean O

Sean thinks the world of Montgomery County, Maryland. She grew up in the area starting from Silver Spring and has been involved in various organizations around the County. With the transformation of downtown Silver Spring, She pioneered interest in online content specific to the area. Sean graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a focus in Economics and Geographic Information Science.

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