Missouri sisters found with broken fingers, lacerated spleen and liver, foster mother says they 'fall a lot'
42-year-old Jennifer L Chambers is facing multiple counts of felony child abuse over the alleged abuse
A 42-year-old woman from Missouri is facing multiple counts of felony child abuse over alleged abuse of two young sisters found in her care with multiple injuries. One of the children reportedly even had a lacerated spleen and liver. The foster mother, identified as Jennifer L Chambers, reportedly took the youngest girl to Freeman Hospital in Joplin on November 23 after a third party insisted that the girl be taken to the hospital. According to a probable cause affidavit, the girl was "ashen in color, laying in a fetal position, in obvious pain with her abdomen distended," Joplin News First reported.
Hospital staff reportedly documented interior knee bruises, bruising on the elbows, ankles, and forehead, a sore on an inner lip, healing wounds above the eyebrow and on the scalp. The girl also reportedly had scratches and nail marks on her face, a knot in a parietal bone, and a rash from her cheek down her torso and over her arms and legs. The staff of the hospital reportedly later took the girl to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where doctors found that she had internal abdominal injuries, including a lacerated spleen and livesr and a possible brain bleed.
Alarmed hospital authorities then contacted Jasper County Children's Division for a welfare check on the older girl, who is believed to be 8-year-old.
After the Children's Division visited the older girl, they took her to Freeman hospital too after they found one of her eyes swollen shut. A Carthage Police detective at the hospital noted that the older girl had severe bruising "from the nose to the outside of the eye socket” and that the area was “swollen around the approximate size of a golf ball." The detective also added that he saw bruising on the other side of the girl's face "in what appeared to resemble a palm print style pattern."
The Freeman medical staff also documented two broken fingers on the girl's left hand and more bruising on her face, head, and neck. The older child was also taken to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.
The responding detective reportedly wrote in the affidavit that Chambers told hospital staff that the girls “fall a lot," however, she did not give any other explanation for the children's injuries.
The staff at both the hospitals reportedly told authorities that the girls' injuries were not consistent with a fall, while Children's Mercy added that their injuries occurred "recently." Chambers, according to the affidavit, told police that she was "nervous" about bringing the girls to the hospital because of the possibility that police might be contacted. The affidavit added that Chambers has had custody of the girls since 2019. The affidavit further stated that one of the girls has a tracheostomy and requires special care, adding that she is "barely able to communicate verbally."
Chambers was reportedly arrested late last month, on November 24, and arraigned last week. Her bond hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, December 9. No update on the children's condition has yet been released.