NC Couple Abandon Severely Abused Baby at Hospital, Flee State

A car belonging to a North Carolina couple wanted for child abuse was found abandoned 260 miles away in a mobile home park in Georgia.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said that Brandon Augustine, 24, and Mildred Chestnut, 23, brought their 4-month-old son to Atrium Hospital on March 20 and said they’d been in a minor accident, WXIA reported.

But hospital staff told investigators that “the severity of the child’s injuries were not consistent with a minor crash as the parents insisted,” Charlotte police Major Luke Sell said.

And when police tried to find the couple, they were gone, abandoning the baby boy at the hospital.

Several days later, Augustine’s mother filed a missing persons report, saying she hadn’t heard from her son of Chestnut since March 20. She was reportedly unaware that the couple were fugitives.

Charlotte police publicly announced the couple’s disappearance on April 12 and said they believed they had help eluding law enforcement. Officials have not described the child’s injuries, but said at the time that he was suffering from “severe and life-altering injuries.”

Austell Police told WXIA that the couple’s abandoned car was found on March 21 at the Lawrence Estates Mobile Home Park. Charlotte police said the car was “intentionally abandoned and hidden” down an embankment at the back of the mobile home park, according to WBTV.

Charlotte police contacted their Georgia counterparts last week to say they’d uncovered information leading them to believe the pair were still in the Austell area, WXIA said. But after a weekend search, investigators have not located them.

Augustine and Chestnut are wanted on warrants charging them with intentional child abuse inflicting serious injury. Police also warned that anyone found helping them could be charged with aiding and betting and other charges.

Austell police asked anyone with information to call Greater Atlanta Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. In North Carolina, those with information should call CMPD Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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[Featured image: Brandon Augustine, left, and Mildred Chestnut/Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department]