Couple arrested in abuse of 3-year-old


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Sandra Yi and Andrew Adams reportingA couple who took a 3-year-old girl to the hospital last weekend has been arrested for child abuse.

Police were investigating the couple because there had been complaints of possible abuse against them in the past. "The patrol officers, at the time, were unable to corroborate anything at that point, and our detectives were working on this case when the incident from Sunday came in," said Sgt. Gerald Allred, spokesman for the Draper Police Department.

Couple arrested in abuse of 3-year-old

Police say a hospital visit revealed a pattern of abuse against the 3-year-old girl. Travis and Robin Tolbert took Robin's daughter to Alta View Hospital Friday night because she wouldn't stop vomiting. The girl was then transported to Primary Children's Medical Center, where hospital staff became suspicious.

"There was staged bruising, which means that there was a time line that you could show that there had been ongoing injuries to the child. And the internal injuries on Sunday morning were bruising to internal organs, like the pancreas and spleen," Allred explained.

Jail records show the couple denied causing the injuries, but Travis admitted grabbing his stepdaughter's face and causing one of the bruises. Records also show the girl's 10-year-old half-sister witnessed some abuse. She told police Travis spanked the girl too hard, while her mother watched.

Couple arrested in abuse of 3-year-old

The 3-year-old also told her half-sister that Travis punched her in the stomach. The allegations surprised and saddened neighbors like Becky Brown.

"They were nice neighbors to us. Their kids played with our kids, and they were pleasant," Brown said. "She (Robin) would always be out there watching her children, and he (Travis) would come out too and play with his kids."

Brown says she never saw any signs of abuse on the 3-year-old girl. Neither did Richelle Holladay, who saw police officers take her neighbors to jail. "I have a 3-year-old too, and it makes you wonder what's happened and what's going on," Holladay said.

There were three children in the home; all of them are in protective custody. Police say the victim is still in the hospital in serious condition.

Formal child abuse charges are expected against the couple sometime tomorrow.

E-mail: syi@ksl.com
E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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