A Kansas City man and his girlfriend were charged Tuesday with child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child after her 3-year-old son was found covered in bruises.
The boyfriend, Marketa A. Williams, 25, was arrested Monday at the couple’s apartment in the 10400 block of East 42nd Street. The child’s mother, Amber J. Zank-Balazs, 29, was arrested Tuesday.
A friend of Zank-Balazs called police just before 5 p.m. Monday and said the mother had sent her photos showing bruises on the boy. The friend told police she previously had seen Williams hit the boy with a back scratcher and a shoe.
Zank-Balazs told police she woke up Monday about 10 a.m. and didn’t notice any bruises. About 1 p.m., she said, she noticed bruising when she helped the boy to the bathroom. She sent photos to her friend but didn’t call police.
Officers arrived at the victim’s home and noted several bruises on the boy’s back, face and inner ear and cuts to his back and behind his right ear. The boy could not communicate well for his age, police said.
The Missouri Children’s Division could not find a place for the boy to spend the night, so he stayed at the hospital.
According to court documents, neighbors told police they heard sounds of violence coming from the victim’s apartment. Zank-Balazs told police she and the boy’s grandmother went shopping for six hours Feb. 11 and left him in Williams’ care. While they were away, Williams texted that he had to discipline the boy and the child had run into a doorknob.
According to court documents, Zank-Balazs observed marks on her son that day but did not take him to the doctor because she did not want to lose her son. Williams denied abusing the boy.