KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A local mother admitted to shaking her then 3-month-old son out of anger and frustration, according to the Jackson County Prosecutor's office.
Abigail Millican, 20, was charged with two counts of child abuse on Wednesday. The baby, identified only as JM, was taken to Children's Mercy after his paternal grandfather found some suspicious bruises on his body last December.
Hospital officials reported that JM had four fractured ribs, a lesion on his left leg and several bruises on his face and torso.
JM and his 3-year-old half-brother were removed from Millican's care after the injuries were discovered.
Innocence lost: A timeline of child abuse cases in the Kansas City area http://bit.ly/WzK9FW
In an interview with detectives in February, Millican said her husband is in the Air Force, and that she felt like she was alone with JM and her other son most of the time.
"She admitted aggressively tossing JM onto the bed and cranking his arm up when she was upset with JM's father," according to the probable cause statement. "She 'took it out on (JM).'"
Millican also told police JM was colicky and cried all the time, and that she smoked and drank alcohol throughout her pregnancy.
She admitted to squeezing and shaking JM while telling him to "shut up", "just leave me alone" and "go to sleep", according to court documents.
The experts say the situation happens all too often.
"A lot of the young parents just don't have the knowledge on how to work with a child, especially with infants around the age of two months, because we do see an increase in crying behaviors at that time," explained Jody Cope, with the Child Abuse Prevention Center. "It's actually a totally normal phase (for the child)."
Millican's parents, Sheldon Vogt and Paula Kenyon-Vogt, released a statement of support for the daughter Wednesday evening.
"We love our daughter and cherish our grandchildren. This has been a very difficult time for her and our family. We will support her fully, and we ask for your prayers," they said.
Millican is being held on a $100,000 bond.