NEW CASTLE, Ind. — A couple living in a hotel in New Castle has been arrested for neglecting a 2-year-old child.
A police report filed Friday indicates officers were called to the hotel 49-year-old Daniel E. Fosnaugh and 30-year-old Ricci Wilkinson resided in for a welfare check. Investigators reported that Wilkinson’s friends and family asked them to check in on her and a 2-year-old on Tuesday.
When police arrived at the scene, they found Wilkinson and a 2-year-old. The police report indicated the 2-year-old was later identified as Wilkinson and Fosnaugh’s child.
During the check-in, officers observed that the child’s face was bruised, scratched and red in some areas. Police asked Wilkinson about the child’s injuries, and she initially told them the 2-year-old “falls down a lot.”
The police report shows that the officers who initially spoke with Wilkinson believed the child had been battered due to the nature of their injuries. The complainants who initially asked officers to check on Wilkinson and the child had also indicated that Fosnaugh may have hurt both of them.
Officers asked Wilkinson about Fosnaugh, and she told them he had not battered her or the child. Police still contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services and requested Wilkinson and the 2-year-old be assessed.
Wilkinson and the child were then transported to the New Castle Police Department. Cops also detained Fosnaugh while he was at work, per the police report.
As they were researching the incident, officers also discovered that Fosnaugh had an active warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
Fosnaugh was supposed to appear in court in Randolph County because he allegedly battered another one of Wilkinson’s children during a previous incident. That child, according to the police report, had been removed from Wilkinson and Fosnaugh’s care and placed in a foster home.
Police attempted to interview Fosnaugh during the investigation, but he declined to sign the necessary forms and requested legal representation before speaking with law enforcement.
Wilkinson, however, opted to go through the interview process. The police report indicates that Wilkinson said Fosnaugh battered their 2-year-old child. She noted that he smacked the child “all over its body using both hands.”
Additionally, Wilkinson stated Fosnaugh had hurt the child before. She told police Fosnaugh had attempted to choke the 2-year-old in the past.
The police report indicates Wilkinson had not previously contacted law enforcement about Fosnaugh’s alleged abuse because she and the child “did not have anywhere to go.”
After obtaining a search warrant for the hotel room Fosnaugh and Wilkinson had been living in, police found large amounts of scattered trash, including dirty diapers, food, empty beer cans and used condoms. The police report indicates investigators also found feces smeared on the hotel room’s walls and bedding.
Fosnaugh now faces charges related to strangulation, neglect of a dependent and battery of a person less than 14 years old. Wilkinson also faces one count for neglecting a dependent.
Court hearings have not been scheduled for Fosnaugh and Wilkinson. The maximum penalties for the charges the couple faces are six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.