No further details being released about child abuse case in Hannibal

Posted: Jun. 7, 2014 6:47 pm Updated: Jun. 28, 2014 8:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- The Hannibal Police Department was releasing no additional information Saturday evening regarding a case of possible child abuse involving a 7-week-old baby.

Police issued a news release Friday morning indicating officers were called to Hannibal Regional Hospital on Tuesday for a report of possible child abuse. Upon arriving, officers determined that the infant victim had injuries consistent with possible abuse.

Because of the severity of the injuries, the child was transferred to a St. Louis hospital for treatment.

Since then, social media has exploded with talk about the case, much of it precipitated by comments made by the child's mother on local TV broadcasts.

The mother, Melinda Britt, told WGEM-TV Friday that her baby, Nora, had been left in the care of a trusted friend while Britt went to work Tuesday night. A few hours later, she said, the caretaker took the baby to Britt while she was at work. Britt told WGEM she noticed the child was cold and damp, so she rushed her to the hospital.

Britt said she is now working with authorities to track down the person who had been watching the baby.

"(Nora) deserves to have justice for what's been done to her," Britt told the TV station.

Britt could not be reached for additional comment.

Meanwhile, KMOV-TV in St. Louis picked up on the story and reported that a man who allegedly abused the child was last seen in the St. Louis area. The station said family members told them Nora had suffered a fractured skull.

A spokesman for Hannibal police told The Herald-Whig on Saturday that no additional information was being released about the incident or whether police have identified a suspect.

The spokesman said police have received many calls about the matter and might issue another news release in the future.

Any tips about the case can be submitted to the Hannibal Police Department by calling (573) 221-0987.