Self-described ‘bad mom’ arrested on neglect, drug charges in Randolph County

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Jessica Elkins

4 fast facts:

  • Child abuse investigation started after woman called to report bruises on child she was watching.
  • Jessica Elkins and boyfriend Brandon Hartman arrested.
  • Elkins described herself as a “bad mom,” said she didn’t take child to hospital because she was “high all the time.”
  • Hartman said it wasn’t his responsibility because the kids weren’t his.

RANDOLPH COUNTY, Ind.– Police in Randolph County arrested a self-described “bad mother” on several charges after a child abuse investigation.

The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department was contacted on May 10 about potential child abuse.

Court documents say a woman told police Jessica Elkins, 23, asked her to watch two of her children, ages 2 and 5, after Elkins’ power was shut off at her apartment in the 300 block of Essex Court in Union City.

She reported seeing bruises on various parts the 2-year-old’s body while changing the child’s diaper. The woman called Child Protective Services and the child was taken to St. Vincent Randolph Hospital.

CPS found Elkins has four children who live with her, ages 2, 5, 6 and 7. A detective and CPS employee went to the apartment and Elkins answered the door. When the door opened, a strong odor of marijuana was noticed, according to court documents.

Elkins and another adult in the home, Brandon Hartman, were arrested. Hartman was identified as Elkins’ boyfriend. She gave consent for her apartment to be searched.

Officers found two partially-smoked marijuana cigarettes, a metal smoking device and two clear, empty capsules. Court documents show Elkins admitted to using marijuana and said the capsules had contained Heroin that the pair had snorted three days prior.

Mug shot of Brandon Hartman

Mug shot of Brandon Hartman

The home was in deplorable condition. In one room, a mattress was lodged against a door frame. Toys were found scattered all over the room and there was marker writings on the wall. A red cooler was also found in the room.

Elkins said five days before the investigation, Hartman was trying to teach the children “tough love” by putting them inside of the cooler. Elkins said she had heard a muffled scream at one point.

She was unable to explain the child’s bruises to detectives. She said she was a “bad mother” and that her children were taken away. She stated she never took the child to the hospital because “she was high all the time.” She later blamed Hartman for the bruises.

Hartman told police he was aware of the bruises but it “wasn’t his responsibility” due to the children not being his. He told detectives Elkins purchased heroin daily.

Both Elkins and Hartman were taken to the Randolph County Jail. Elkins faces four counts of neglect of a dependent and one count of possession of marijuana. Hartman was arrested on charges of neglect of a dependent charges but was not in jail as of Friday evening.

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