N.C. parents wanted after allegedly abusing and abandoning their baby at a hospital
04/13/2023 11:51 am PDT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (TCD) -- Police are searching for a young couple accused of abusing and abandoning their 4-month-old infant at a hospital.
On March 20, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department learned Mildred Chestnut, 23, and Brandon Augustine, 24, brought their baby to the hospital for injuries sustained in a "minor vehicle crash." However, detectives later concluded the victim’s injuries were "not consistent with a minor vehicle crash," and the 4-month-old is "suffering from severe and life-altering injuries."
Chestnut and Augustine reportedly left the baby there and have not been seen since. Dianne Augustine, Brandon Augustine’s mother, reported the couple missing around the same time, WCNC-TV reports.
Following an investigation, police obtained arrest warrants March 21 for Chestnut and Augustine on charges of felony intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team began a search for the couple and believe they fled North Carolina. Officials reportedly found their car in Austell, Georgia, "after it was intentionally abandoned and hidden."
Police detectives suspect the couple has been receiving "money, shelter, and rides," and anyone with "knowledge of this case that has been providing assistance" to the suspects may face charges of aiding and abetting, and accessory after the fact of a felony.
In a police media briefing posted by WBTV-TV, Major Luke Sell said, "It’s time. It’s time to do right by your child."
Sell continued, "Any parent, I know that those parents have to be having second thoughts about running, about not coming and seeing that child. We’re all human. We’re just asking that they come do the right thing, turn themselves in."
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