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Babies swapped to cover up child abuse –

Babies swapped to cover up child abuseFive children, ranging in ages from 8 months to 10 years old, are in protective custody after being taken from a Salinas motel room on Thursday on child abuse allegations.

Reported by Felix Cortez

Police also believe the room at the Adams Motel, which was being occupied by as many as 10 people, was being used as a drug den, police said. Salinas police said a 10-month-old boy was found at the motel with severe burns on his neck and feet. “They were large burns,” Det. Jared Sivertson said. “We have suspicions that maybe it was like a butane torch or something to that effect.”

Four women tried to cover up the baby’s injuries by swapping babies when police officers and Monterey County Child Protective Services agents showed up to check on the 10-month-old on Nov. 7, police said.

“The grandmother, along with other family members, decided to use another (baby) that was a family member to conceal officers from the actual child that had received the neglect and the abuse,” Sivertson said.

After seeing the healthy baby, police and CPS agents left. But authorities were alerted again on Nov. 10 about the abused baby, and this time, law enforcement found the baby who suffered severe burns.

The baby’s grandmother, Chin Guajardo, and the baby’s older sister, Michaella Davis, were arrested on charges of child neglect and conspiracy. Two other women, Shayla Nukie and Jaime Santos, were also arrested, and accused of child neglect and conspiracy.

“Detectives learned Michaella Davis had been the adult in charge of the victim at the time of the injuries,” police said.

Several children were living with the four women. “The children were dirty, the apartment was un kept … extremely dirty,” Sivertson said. “It was obvious that these kids were not being cared for.”

Investigators said it also appears the children were exposed to ongoing drug use.

“It’s our understanding that they used meth, possibly heroin, so it was a consistent, daily drug activity type of residence,” Sivertson said.

Police still don’t know who caused the injuries to the baby, and the child’s mother is nowhere to be found.

“(She’s) said to be out of the area,” Sivertson said. “We still need to contact her and get statements from her, but right now, she’s unwilling to come forward.”

“Stories like this are why we all work so hard in the industry.  It exemplifies the tactics people use when afflicted by the disease of addiction, ” mentioned Tyler Cornell, CEO of (Ticker Symbol:TLIF).

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