New documents and photos reveal trauma Anderson toddler faced before death

ANDERSON, Ind. – New documents obtained by CBS4 detail the pain a Madison County toddler endured before he was murdered.

Harlan Haines died at the age of 1 earlier this year. His mother, Jennifer Harris, and her boyfriend, Dylan Tate, now both face charges in connection to the child's death.

Earlier this year, CBS4 learned Haines was on the radar of child welfare workers since December 2017.

Photos released by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Madison County courts this week show the injuries Haines had during a hospital visit that month. The little boy's eyes were both bruised. There was also bruising along his ear and he had a fractured leg.

Harris told doctors a Christmas tree fell on Haines. Due to concerns from hospital staff about the validity of the mother’s story, a DCS investigation was launched. But, the case was closed a few weeks later and Harlan remained in his mother's care.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings says he has concerns about how decisions were made about Haines' well-being.

"The description the mother made to the physicians about the injuries just didn’t make sense and the physicians brought that to the attention of the case workers it didn’t seem to have much persuasive authority with them," Cummings said.

After several visits to the home, the DCS investigation into the incident was finalized and found no evidence of abuse or neglect.

A medical report stated the injuries were "concerning for inflicted trauma... but not definitive."

There are no notes in the case documents about DCS follow up visits to the home after the case was closed.

The next time Haines was in the hospital was in late February. Documents released this week state Haines arrived in cardiac arrest and it took staff 15 minutes of doing CPR to bring him back. Photos show the child on a ventilator. He has bruising around his body and injuries to his head.

The toddler died on February 25. Doctors found evidence of physical and sexual abuse. Cummings said he believes there should have been more intervention with this family prior to the tragic end of this child's life.

"The children we are charged with protecting are not being protected and someone needs to figure it out and do something about it," Cummings said.

CBS4 reached out to DCS Friday about the documents and photos that were released this week. A spokesperson said the agency was not going to comment further on this case but did share this statement:

"Our hearts break any time we learn a child has been lost. The Anderson community should know we, too, grieve the death of Harlan Haines.”

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