Sheriff: 18-month-old may not survive suspected child abuse

Robert Elmore and Samantha McCormack (Blount County Sheriff's Office)

News outlets report 24-year-old Samantha McCormack and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Robert Elmore Jr., were arrested Sunday and charged with reckless assault and attempted murder, respectively.

Charging documents say the baby was hospitalized Friday and is a “victim of severe battering and shaking injury.”

Blount County Sheriff’s Investigator Edward Hull says Elmore admitted to dropping the baby because the baby pulled his chest hairs. Hull says McCormack didn’t call authorities right away because she believed she’d lose custody of her children again, like in 2018.

Documents say the baby’s twin sister wasn’t harmed but their 3-year-old brother shows signs of abuse.

District Attorney Pamela Casey says the charges will be upgraded if the baby dies.

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