Greenfield grandparents face neglect charges after infant put on life support

GREENFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A Greenfield couple was arrested Monday on charges of neglecting their 1-month-old grandson.

Doctors told investigators the baby had broken bones, fractured ribs, injuries to the neck, spine, and brain and had to be put on life support.

Pearl Holland, 38, and Heath Kimberlin, 41, face three counts of neglect. 24-Hour News 8 learned the Hancock County prosecutor is working to file charges against the baby’s 16-year-old father and 17-year-old mother.

Greenfield police said the investigation began last month when the grandmother called 911. Investigators believe Holland and Kimberlin did not do enough to care for and protect their grandson, who was born prematurely.

“They’re little; they don’t understand. They don’t know any different. They just want to be loved,” said neighbor Brittany McMullen.

It was inside the family’s home where investigators believe the baby’s 16-year-old father abused him while everyone else was at work.

“It’s just, I don’t understand what’s wrong with people nowadays,” said McMullen.

Police went back to the family’s home Monday as part of their investigation.

According to court documents, in November, the grandmother called 911 and said her grandson was coughing blood and he was not breathing well.

Medics arrived to check the baby and saw the baby’s gums and lips were dried and cracked with dried blood on them. The grandmother and baby’s father told medics that the baby had been putting his fingers in his mouth and must have scratched his gums.

Documents show the grandmother and baby’s father did not want medics to transport the baby to the hospital and only wanted medics to evaluate the baby.

The next day, investigators said the family took the baby to the emergency room in Greenfield and told doctors the baby would not eat and had been vomiting.

Documents show the baby was taking intermittent, spontaneous breaths, his skin was cool, and his color was blue and gray. At one point during that evaluation, the baby had no pulse and had to be stabilized before being airlifted to Indianapolis.

The baby was placed on life support while at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Doctors ran tests and scans and discovered the baby was bleeding from the brain and had other injuries. Doctors believe the baby had injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The grandparents told police they did not know about the trauma or what may have caused the injuries to their grandson.

Documents show the baby was placed in the custody of the state and is now stable. Doctors said the baby is at risk of having permanent neurological damage.