The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 1, 2013

Toddler assault investigation will take time, authorities say

OTTUMWA —

The investigation into an alleged assault of an Ottumwa toddler is going to take time, law enforcement said.

"The investigation is still open," said interim police chief Tom McAndrew. "These types of cases we have to rely heavily on doctors. They need to examine each injury to determine possibly what the cause of the injury is. We compare what the doctors say to what we learned during the investigation. It takes a little bit of time to have the experts look at the injuries compared to what we know. Then we can formulate a theory on what happened."

On April 22, officers responded to 117 E. Woodland St. after receiving a call that a 2-year-old boy had passed out. The boy was eventually life-flighted to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics with traumatic head injuries.

"We just have to methodically keep working at it, not get in a hurry and be as thorough as we can," McAndrew said. "If something comes out of that, we'll take action."

McAndrew said the boy is still in critical condition.

During an interview with Dustin Armstrong, the boy's mother's paramour, an Ottumwa investigator found his story suspicious, saying Armstrong's account of the events that transpired was inconsistent with the severe injuries the boy had sustained. Armstrong was the only adult at home at the time of the incident. No suspects have been named and no arrests have been made in the case.

"We'll continue to plug away at it," McAndrew said.

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