The parents of a two-year-old girl admitted to hospital with life-threatening injuries have been arrested on suspicion of child abuse.
The little girl was hospitalized in Nova Gradiška on Wednesday with severe head trauma after her mother brought her in claiming she had taken a fall. She was transferred to Zagreb’s Children’s Hospital on Thursday due to the severity of the injuries.
"The little girl transferred yesterday from the hospital in Nova Gradiška is still in life-threatening condition. She is on a mechanical ventilator and her blood flow is unstable. She's in critical condition,” said Dr. Goran Roić, the chief administrator of the Children’s Hospital.
He added that she had very severe injuries to the brain, which is why her conditions was critical.
The couple's three other children, ranging in age from a few months to 4 years, have been placed in foster care, Branko Medunić, the head of the Center for Social Welfare in Nova Gradiška, told the news agency Hina. They are also being screened by pediatricians for signs of neglect and abuse.
Police said late Friday that their investigation had concluded that the parents severely neglected the child and inflicted physical punishment that resulted in injuries to the head and body.
“Today, April 2, Brod-Posavina County Police concluded their criminal investigation of the 27-year-old and 24-year-old, confirming suspicions that they committed the crime of violating the child’s rights,” police said in a statement.
Police said earlier that the father had already been convicted of domestic abuse. The spokesperson for the center, Damir Brezić, confirmed the charges were related to spousal abuse. Police have also confirmed they are investigating if the local Social Welfare Center has any culpability in this case since they were supposed to be monitoring the family.
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