North Carolina police are searching for the parents of an infant beaten so badly that it reportedly caused life-altering injuries.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Maj. Luke Sell announced Wednesday that Mildred Chestnut, 23, and Brandon Augustine, 24, are currently wanted on “felony child abuse, inflicting serious injury” charges.
A press release issued by the City of Charlotte indicated that an investigation began on March 20, when the victim was allegedly involved in a minor car accident. CMPD officers were notified that the baby was undergoing treatment for injuries at Atrium Hospital in Charlotte, but the injuries were not consistent with injuries caused by a vehicle accident.
On March 21, arrest warrants for the suspects were issued, who had already fled. Family members reported the pair missing around the same time the investigation started.
CMPD is requesting the public's assistance in locating two child abuse suspects. Mildred Chestnut (DOB 01/22/2000) and Brandon Augustine (DOB 11/21/1998) are facing charges of Felony Intentional Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Injury. They are currently fugitives. pic.twitter.com/ChordawGtt
— CMPD News (@CMPD) April 12, 2023
The Charlotte Observer reports that police found the suspects’ “obviously abandoned and intentionally hidden” in Austell, Georgia, on March 21.
Police added that the suspects are likely receiving assistance through rides, money, and shelter.
“It’s time to do right by your child,” Sell said. “We’re just asking them to come do the right thing, turn themselves in.”
Augustine’s mother, Diane Augustine, told Charlotte’s WCNC that on March 23, she filed a missing persons report on him and Chestnut and that her son has never gone this long without contacting her.
“This is the longest I haven’t heard from him in his entire life,” Dianne Augustine said. “I’m worried it’s the last time. I’m being honest, like something is so viscerally wrong, like something is so absolutely wrong.”
Diane is now pleading with her son to come forward and “do the right thing.”
Anyone with information on the pair’s whereabouts should contact CMPD Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or submit a tip at http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/. All tipsters can remain anonymous, police said.
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[Feature Photo via CMPD]