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Infant abused by parents airlifted to VCU Medical for critical care

Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 06:56:19-04

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. – The parents of a 4-month-old baby boy are in jail and the infant is in critical condition at the VCU Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

The infant was brought to Mary Washington Hospital, on March 2, suffering suspicious and life-threatening injuries, authorities said. The injuries were considered bad enough that the infant was airlifted to Richmond for advanced life support care.

“This is not something that they do haphazardly, they have forensic nursing teams that are there that actually look for these things in the children; what they found was consistent with what they felt to be neglect and abuse,” said Cpt. Jeff Pearce with Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

The parents of the child are Janine Heerick, 24, and Leonard Parker III, 25, both of Spotsylvania County.

Search warrants were executed on at their home in the 5700 block of Castlebridge Road, at the Salem Run apartments.

The search yielded enough evidence for police to issue six felony arrest warrants on each of the parents.

Both Heerick and Parker have been charged with Felony Child Neglect and Felony Child Cruelty.  Detectives arrested both Tuesday evening.

Heerick and Parker are being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail without bond.

The infant remains in critical, almost ten days later. Until the two parents are arraigned, and the affidavit released, many details remain private.

“Every year, we see a few cases as severe as this,” said Pearce, who has been with the force for 40 years. “And it’s not something that you ever get used to. This type of investigation, this type of case – there are no winners here, especially the infant.”