2 Maryville women arrested for child abuse after baby is injured

2 Maryville women arrested for child abuse, neglect after baby is injured

McKenna Verhulst (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) McKenna Verhulst (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)
Rachel Davis (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office) Rachel Davis (source: Blount County Sheriff's Office)

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Two Maryville women were arrested for child abuse and neglect after a 5-month-old child was sent to the hospital with several injuries Christmas morning.

Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp told 6 News McKenna Lynn Verhulst, 22, and Rachel Monique Davis, 19, were arrested Wednesday. Verhulst is charged with child neglect while Davis is charged with child abuse and neglect.

Crisp said police were sent to Blount Memorial Hospital at 2:20 a.m. Christmas morning after Verhulst brought her 5-month-old son to the emergency room.

Police say she had left the boy in the care of her sister, Rachel Davis. Verhulst said she had been working a large amount of hours and Davis was taking care of the child at her apartment.

Davis told officers Verhulst had not come to check on the child in more than a month and she had run out of baby formula.

Verhulst said she got off work Wednesday morning went to the house to pick up her child. When she got there, she noticed the child had bruises on his face.

During the investigation, officers learned that Davis had slapped the child on December 23.

Verhulst also has a 3-year-old son and was apparently staying with the boy at another residence.

Both children are currently in the care of the Department of Children's Services.

Neighbors told 6 News they never saw signs of any abuse on the baby.

"He was happy. He was a sweet little thing when I first saw him," Rhonda Braunstein said.

"No child should have to live with that kind of torment or pain," neighbor Jennifer Hoover said. "They're too young. They're innocent."

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