Anderson man faces new murder, child molestation charges related to death of 18-month-old boy

Dylan Tate

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. – An Anderson man already in jail on charges related to the death of an 18-month-old boy has been additionally charged with murder and child molestation.

Dylan Tate, 27, is accused of physical and sexual abuse of 18-month-old Harlan Haines. The toddler died back in February after Tate reportedly crashed his car with Haines inside on the way to the hospital. They eventually made it to Community Hospital.

According to medical professionals at the hospital, Harlan was in respiratory arrest, his pupils were dilated, he had extensive bruising on his body, and went into cardiac arrest. A partial napkin or paper towel was found in his airway. Doctors told police the injuries weren’t consistent with a motor vehicle accident.

There, staff discovered the following injuries: pulmonary contusions, extensive bruising along entire body, anoxic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhaging, multiple soft tissue injuries to head and face, subgleal hematoma, possible bite marks on left arm and left leg, rectal bleeding with a possible tear, bruising on scrotum and genitals, bruising on both feet, abdominal bruising, punctate lesions on torso, upper abdomen and mid upper back, and bruising around his mouth and ears.

Tate and the toddler’s mother, Jennifer Harris, were initially charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

On Tuesday, prosecutors filed murder and child molesting charges against Tate. If convicted, he reportedly faces 45 to 65 years for the murder charge and 20 to 50 years for the child molesting charge.

Earlier this year, FOX59 learned Haines was on the radar of child welfare workers since December 2017.

Photos released by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Madison County courts this week show the injuries Haines had during a hospital visit that month. The little boy’s eyes were both bruised. There was also bruising along his ear and he had a fractured leg.

Harris told doctors a Christmas tree fell on Haines. Due to concerns from hospital staff about the validity of the mother’s story, a DCS investigation was launched. But, the case was closed a few weeks later and Harlan remained in his mother’s care.