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Child's mystery wounds warrant felony charges

NORCROSS -- Norcross police continue to investigate how a 4-week-old infant landed at an Atlanta hospital this month with skull fractures and bleeding on her brain.

The injuries have warranted felony charges against two people claiming to be the child's caregivers, possibly her parents. Neither had been apprehended Tuesday.

Exactly how or when the victim, listed in warrants as Daira Crisostomos, was injured isn't clear, said Norcross police spokesman Capt. Brian Harr.

The child has stabilized enough to be moved from intensive care at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The Division of Family and Children Services will take custody of the girl, along with her 1-year-old brother, once she recovers, Harr said.

Police were made privy to the situation when a hospital social worker called them July 14 to report the girl's injuries -- a bruised left eye, two separate skull fractures and a brain hemorrhage, Harr said.

Norcross residents Crisostomos Reyes, 24, and Benita Uvalle, 33, claimed to be the victim's parents, and Uvalle the mother of the 1-year-old boy. Both said that the boy had thrown a toy car at the child, causing the injuries and a subsequent loss of breath, Harr said.

Doctors found evidence to the contrary, Harr said.

"The stories just didn't match up, what we got from the parents," Harr said. "Through examination, it was apparent that the injuries could not be caused by (the toy)."

With the couple's explanation lacking, hospital officials contacted DFCS, as the girl spent several days in intensive care, Harr said. A judge issued warrants Friday charging the couple, who are believed to be married, with felony counts of first-degree child cruelty and aggravated battery by deprivation.

Doctors' findings indicate the child may have been injured up to two days before her caregivers sought medical treatment, Harr said.

The couple's whereabouts were unknown Tuesday. Harr said investigators in Florida want to interview Uvalle regarding a similar case.

"There was another issue, apparently in Florida, involving the female and some other children," he said.

Harr said background checks are pending, but he doesn't recall reports of abuse involving the couple in Norcross.