MUNCIE, Ind. — A Muncie man has been charged with battery and neglect after a 14-month-old girl in his care was found to have numerous injuries, including a brain bleed, court documents state.
On Thursday, 19-year-old Bradley Joe Kiger was charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, two counts of neglect of a dependent in which defendant places dependent in situation that endangers dependent, and one count of battery with serious bodily injury to person under 14.
Kiger’s girlfriend, 19-year-old Brittani Grove, was also charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent in which defendant places dependent in situation that endangers dependent.
At about 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 of 2021, authorities were called to a home in the 500 block of South Whitney Road on a report of an unconscious child. By the time a sheriff’s deputy arrived, Delaware County Emergency Medical services was already there tending to the 14-month-old.
According to court documents, the child was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital with suspicious injuries, including bruising to the head, face, stomach, both legs and back, redness from the neck up, two human bite marks on the right arm and leg, and a frontal subdural hematoma (brain bleed).
A detective interviewed Kiger, who said he was at the home watching two children — ages 14 months and 2 months — while Grove was working at a fast-food restaurant. He said around 1:30 p.m., he was playing a Call of Duty video game with his headphones on, and the children were on a bed behind him when the 14-month-old fell off and began to cry, court documents say. Kiger said he noticed a red mark on the toddler’s forehead and comforted her before placing her into a crib that was next to where he was playing video games.
Kiger told the detective the child dozed off, and he went back to playing games until it was time get the 2-month-old his bottle. It was then that he noticed the 14-month-old was not breathing, and her eyes were rolled back in her head. Kiger claimed that he immediately called 911, took her out of the crib, bumped on her chest and blew into her mouth. Court documents state that he was crying and in a panic when he made the call.
An affidavit shows that Kiger denied causing any of the child’s injuries. He told the detective the facial bruising was probably from her fall from the bed and blamed the bruises on her back on his brother’s dog jumping on her, yet said he did not see any of these injuries.
When authorities searched the home, they found “very poor living conditions” and deemed it unfit for children. Court records describe the mobile home:
“There was garbage in the kitchen, 3 bags full of garbage and diapers, bugs and flies crawling all over the kitchen, with dirty dishes in the sink. The residence smelled of garbage and was cluttered and the carpet was filthy in every room. The residence was a mobile home and had two bedrooms on either end of the home.
“Each room had the sub-flooring removed and was a danger to anyone, including [redacted] if entering the room. There were clothing laying all over the floor of the residence and there were 2 bathrooms that had feces in the toilets and the toilets did not appear to work. There was a hole in the ceiling of the laundry room where water was leaking into a storage tote, just above the washer and dryer. The tote was half full of tepid water.
“During the search of this residence, we found a Remington shotgun, between the kitchen bar and the bed, in front of where [redacted] and [redacted] were on the bed. This shotgun was loaded with one slug in the chamber and 2 more in the tube. The gun safety was off and this firearm was in a place that [redacted] could have accessed the firearm.”
Authorities also noted that the home was heated by an “electric stove being turned on and a fan blowing heat throughout the residence, causing a danger to [redacted] and [redacted].”
Kiger was initially arrested back in November but later released until charges were officially filed on Thursday.