Police: Teen boy in custody after 4-month-old baby critically injured in West Valley

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WEST VALLEY CITY — A 16-year-old boy is in custody after the 4-month-old baby he was watching on Tuesday evening suffered critical injuries, police say.

About 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a report of an unresponsive child at the Shadowbrook Apartments near 3860 S. Redwood Road, according to West Valley City Police Lt. Kent Stokes.

Upon arriving, officers found the unresponsive child and performed CPR, Stokes said. The child was later transported to Primary Children’s Hospital where the baby remained in critical condition as of Thursday, he said.

When a Primary Children’s Hospital doctor examined the child, he noticed signs of what he described as shaken baby syndrome, according to Stokes.

Detectives determined that the infant was being watched by a 16-year-old boy at the time when police responded Tuesday, Stokes said. They interviewed the boy and on Wednesday night, he was booked into a juvenile detention center for investigation of felony child abuse, Stokes said.

The boy was at the apartment Tuesday when police arrived, and he was cooperative with investigators, Stokes said.

He did not provide the identity of the boy or the infant.

The investigation is ongoing, and family members are still at the hospital with the infant, Stokes said. Police are still trying to piece together details in the case, he said.

“Obviously it's a very sensitive and tragic event for the parents,” Stokes said.

Elena Ratcliffe, the baby's great aunt, said doctors "tried to see if there has been any brain wave activity, which there is none." She added that "the babysitter did confess that he shook the baby violently."

Ratcliffe said the baby's organs will be donated if she passes away.

Further details about the case were not released on Thursday.

Contributing: Andrew Adams and Sean Estes, KSL TV; and Cara MacDonald, KSL.com

Editor's note: Elena Ratcliffe initially said the babysitter confessed to throwing the child up in the air. She clarified Friday that he only confessed to shaking her violently, not to throwing her in the air. This story has been updated to correct that information.

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