By Jimmy McCloskey
A couple split their 14 month-old baby boy’s tongue open – possibly with a pair of scissors – as part of an appalling campaign of abuse, police say. Police were called to a hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana, on January 14 after Scott Edwards and Holly Cota brought their son in suffering from the split tongue, as well as a swollen scrotum and severe bruising across his body. When grilled about what had happened to the youngster, Cota is said to have claimed that the boy hurt himself by repeatedly falling out of his crib, and biting his tongue.
According to WTHI, Cota also offered an innocent explanation for the boy’s genital injury, saying he ‘must have straddled the toy box when he fell, causing damage to his scrotum.’ After the boy was transferred to another hospital a doctor told police there was no way he could have bitten the split in his tongue, because none of his teeth ran in the same direction as the cut.
A police affidavit said: ‘She said that the cut appeared clean and was not torn which indicated that some type of tool, possibly scissors, were used. ‘She also said that a piece at the tip of the tongue was missing.’ The doctor added that the boy’s other injuries had not been caused accidentally, and that they were ‘inflicted trauma.’
During a subsequent interview, Cota is said to have told police that Edwards was watching their son when he was injured. Edwards has now been charged with aggravated battery, battery, and neglect of a dependent, and is being held in lieu of $75,000 bond. Cota faces obstruction of justice charges and is free on bail ahead of a court hearing Friday. Family friend Chelsie Loose was among those appalled by the allegations made against the couples. She said: ‘I am appalled. I am disgusted. My heart hurts. ‘When that’s all you can think about is that poor baby going through that with nobody for him to be his voice and say stop…you’re hurting me. It just breaks my heart.’