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Two charged with endangerment after 2-year-old girl is found with black, swollen eyes

Updated: 2013-04-03T02:34:38Z

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

Responding to an anonymous call, Kansas City police checked on a 2-year-girl Sunday night and found her with two black, swollen eyes and blood covering the whites of her eyeballs.

The girl’s mother and boyfriend said the girl is “very clumsy” and “falls all the time.”

But the girl’s injuries, which included skull and arm fractures and internal injuries, weren’t consistent with the stories that the mother and boyfriend told, police said.

Jackson County prosecutors on Monday charged Brittaney N. Gannaway, 20, and Jonathan R. Hale, 19, with child endangerment for not seeking medical help for the girl. They remained in jail Tuesday, with bond set at $200,000 each.

Police arrived at the couple’s apartment at 14410 S. U.S. 71 about 10 p.m. Sunday to check on the girl. The suspects immediately told police the 2-year-old was “always accident-prone,” according to police reports.

According to court records, the mother said the girl fell off her bike Friday and hit her head on something in the apartment Sunday. The boyfriend said the girl hit her head Thursday inside the apartment and fell off her bike the same day, but he could not describe the incident.

Doctors said the girl had bruises in varying stages of healing from her feet to her face and raised liver enzymes, an indication of internal injuries.

Gannaway told police she didn’t know why she didn’t call a doctor about her child’s injuries. When questioned further, she requested a lawyer.

Police said Hale told them he persuaded Gannaway not to call because he was afraid Missouri Children’s Division workers would get involved. He also allegedly told his mother, who saw the girl’s injuries Saturday, a different story about where the girl was hurt. When detectives asked why, he said he “did not think she would believe him.”

To reach Christine Vendel, call 816-234-4438 or send email to cvendel@kcstar.com.

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