A fifth person was arrested Monday, in connections with an extreme case of child abuse that previously landed four other people behind bars in March, after authorities found an Indiana boy with signs of child abuse so horrific that it could have been fatal had no one intervened.
The Times Union reports that a physician indicated the little boy would have died within 48 hours had officers not found him. In March 2018, authorities located a young boy inside an apartment off of 1200 N. Main St. in Nappanee with his mother, Rune Star Springer, 24 (pictured middle center). Springer told responding officers that her son had been in the care of another person, identified as Jammy Stacy (pictured top right), who had been the sole caregiver for the past six months before dropping him off at the apartment.
Authorities also spoke to the boy’s stepfather, Travis Tillotson (pictured top left), who was in the apartment with Springer when officers arrived. Tillotson allegedly said Stacy and her mother, Annette Priestley (pictured bottom right), had dropped the boy at Springer’s home in March with visible injuries on his body. Tillotson said they didn’t call police because he was afraid they would be arrested. The stepfather also reportedly said that he had not seen the little boy in over a year until March.
Both Springer and Tillotson were arrested and charged in connection with the abuse. Tillotson was charged with “Level 6 felony neglect of a dependent,” while Springer was charged with “Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.”
According to police, the little boy was extremely malnourished with signs of physical abuse all over his body. Police rushed the boy to Parkview Hospital, where physicians noted one to two inches of pieces missing from his scalp, fingernail digs into his skin, broken arms, a deeply cut septum on his nose, and broken teeth. Some of the injuries reportedly happened within the past days, with other injuries dating back months. Physicians said some of the injuries were in stages of healing, indicating he had been hurt over an extended time period.
The boy also had hematosis the head and a deep scar on his lower lip that had begun healing.
When officers located Stacy, she said that the boy stayed with her but would occasionally stay with her mother, Priestley, and her aunt, Fayette Robinette (pictured bottom left). Stacy reportedly gave the officers consent to search her home, where they found photos showing signs of abuse on the child, during a time period when both Stacy and Priestley would have been in contact with the boy.
Stacy “took no action to seek medical help,” and was arrested and charged with “Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.” Robinette was arrested and faces the same charge.
On Monday, authorities arrested Priestley in connection with the case. She’s also facing a level 3 felony child abuse charge.
The little boy, whose age was not provided, survived the ordeal. He’s now in the care of protective custody.
[Feature Photo: Rune Springer, Jammy Stacy, Travis Tillotson Bottom: Annette Priestly, Fayette Robinette/Police Handout]