Baby recovers from injuries police think came from her teen dad

Tosumba Welch, 19, of Linton. (Photo Provided/Indiana State Police)

LINTON, Ind. (WISH) — A 9-month-old girl is recovering in an Indianapolis hospital and her teenage father has been criminally charged after punching her in the head for months, police said Saturday.

Indiana State Police investigators learned from Caela Welch’s father, Tosumba Welch, 19, of Linton, that he had squeezed the baby and punched her in the head since she was 4 months or 5 months old. Welch told detectives he would strike Caela in the back of the skull or on the sides of her head to make her stop crying.

He was arrested Thursday and put in the Greene County Jail in Linton, which is about 60 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Caela on Wednesday was taken to the Greene County General Hospital and later airlifted to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, said a news release from Sgt. Curt Durnil of the Indiana State Police post at Bloomington.

“Medical staff contacted the Department of Child Services for a review,” the release said.

At Riley hospital, testing found Caela had multiple skull fractures, described by a doctor as a “cracked egg shell,” along with multiple brain bleeds.

“The worst of the bleeds was to the back of her skull where there was one on each side of her head along with swelling in the same areas,” the release said.

Police said the hospital’s testing also found:

  • Several healing rib fractures.
  • “Non-accidental” injuries to the lower part of her collarbone.
  • A fractured left ankle described as “classic jerk & yank” abuse.

“Testing had ruled out any medical cause for Caela’s injuries,” the release said.

Police said the baby’s father was charged with domestic battery and neglect of a dependent, both felonies.

The state police’s release did not provided any information about Caela’s mother or other family members.