The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 25, 2013

Investigator says account of toddler injuries didn't add up



Armstrong said the boy's blood got on his blue, button-up shirt. But when officers spoke to him at ORHC, Armstrong was no longer wearing the shirt and said it was still at the residence.

Armstrong also described changing the boy's pants, saying that the boy had been wearing red shorts, but after he became unresponsive, Armstrong took the boy's shorts off and dressed him in a pair of pants.

"When I asked Armstrong where the red shorts were located, Armstrong stated that the shorts might be in the laundry," Investigator Aaron Vose wrote in the application. "When asked about this, Armstrong stated that he had put a load of laundry in after he had laid [the boy] down in [his] bed. Armstrong stated that he had placed the red shorts in with the laundry. Your affiant found it strange that Armstrong chose to put a load of laundry in after he observed [the boy] to be unresponsive. Your affiant was further perplexed by this action as Armstrong had described how distraught he was upon locating [the boy] in an unresponsive state."

Vose said probable cause existed to search the residence. He also said he doesn't believe Armstrong's account of events to be consistent with the injuries described by medical personnel.

"[The boy] was described as having significant head injuries," Vose wrote. "None of the events described by Armstrong would account for these injuries. ...your affiant believes that [the boy's] injuries are the result of some type of assault rather than one of the mechanism described by Armstrong."

At 1:48 a.m. Tuesday, officers conducted a search warrant at the home and seized 27 items, including a blue button-up shirt from the master bedroom; a towel, baby wipe and a section of a pillow, all with red stains; and one pair of child's red shorts from a corner of the master bedroom, another red pair from the bathroom floor and another red pair from the dryer.

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