YORKTOWN, Ind. – A woman already facing several counts of neglect in two different pending cases was charged on Oct. 13.
The new case was opened after a Department of Child Services caseworker filed a report referencing possible physical abuse between a boy and his mother. The mother was identified as 29-year-old Taylor R. Hammond.
In the report, the DCS worker stated that the boy was dropped off at school on Sept. 13 with a Band-Aid on his thigh and was complaining of pain. Upon removal of the Band-Aid, a circular burn mark was observed.
When Hammond was asked about her son’s mark, she originally said the boy was sitting on her lap in just a diaper while she was smoking a cigarette.
Taylor said ashes fell from the cigarette onto the boy’s leg and she immediately wiped them off. The report stated the boy was also observed with a circular, indented wound on his right ring finger and a blustered wound on his right middle finger.
Court documents stated DCS followed up regarding the injuries and that Taylor changed her original statement. This time, the mother said that the “cherry” [or end that glows red when it is lit] fell off of the cigarette onto the boy’s leg and she immediately wiped it off.
When asked about the boy’s hand injuries, Taylor stated the burns were from him “accidentally” touching a candle. Taylor didn’t elaborate further.
Due to the nature of the injuries, Taylor was asked to seek medical attention and have an evaluation for the boy.
On Sept. 28, Taylor was contacted by investigators to sign a medical release for the boy’s records. She complied and signed the form.
Taylor told investigators she would contact them a time for an interview due to her being on house arrest. She never showed up to an interview even after police reached out between Oct. 4 and Oct. 7.
Medical records of the boy documented that the severity of the burns didn’t match the incident descriptions Taylor provided to DCS.
Taylor was charged with battery of a person less than 14 years old and neglect of a dependent, both Level 6 felonies.
An initial hearing hasn’t been set in this case but Taylor has two jury trials in Delaware County scheduled in other cases of neglect: one is set for Dec. 11, 2023, and the other is set for March 18, 2024.