WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — More details have been released by the Wichita Falls Police Department in a case of injury to a child that sent a 10-month-old to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.
According to Sgt. Charlie Eipper, WFPD’s Public Information Officer, Adrian Nichole Vetter, 22, of Wichita Falls, was arrested and booked into the Wichita County Jail on Friday, June 9, 2023, and charged with injury to a child, with a $1 million bond set by a judge.
According to the arrest affidavit on Vetter, WFPD officers, and first responders were dispatched to the 100 block of Becky Drive on Monday, June 5, 2023, at 4:04 p.m. in reference to an unresponsive infant.
Police said the infant was transported to United Regional, where it was discovered the child had bilateral subdural hematomas, or two brain bleeds, and the child needed to be immediately transferred to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth for emergency medical treatment.
A Crimes Against Children detective spoke to an emergency room doctor, who said the victim had severe brain bleeds on both sides of his brain, and the injuries to his head were indicative of “shaken baby syndrome.”
Vetter’s interview with WFPD detectives
According to the affidavit, Vetter initially told officers on Monday the victim was watching television, sitting on the living room floor, had a seizure, and fell backward, causing him to hit his head on the wooden vinyl flooring.
During a follow-up interview with Vetter on Thursday, July 8, 2023, she told police the same story she told them initially but was later confronted by detectives with numerous inconsistencies in her original story.
According to the affidavit, Vetter then claimed she was arguing with her husband over the phone about canceling their wedding. She said the victim was crying and fussy, and was refusing to take a nap around 11 a.m. on Monday morning.
Detectives said Vetter told them that at around 3 p.m. she lost her temper, grabbed the victim out of the crib, and struck the back of his head on the side rail of the wooden crib with force in an attempt to get him to stop crying.
Vetter then told authorities she took the child into the hallway and struck the victim’s head into the wall of the hallway forcefully. She said the victim was also gasping for air when she struck his head on the hallway wall.
According to the affidavit, Vetter then took the child to the living room, set him down on the floor, and went to the kitchen to get him some milk. She then said she noticed the victim was unconscious and not breathing.
Police said Vetter was then given a reenactment doll, to which she showed and demonstrated to detectives exactly how she struck the victim’s head on the crib and the wall. She said she struck his head once on the crib and once on the wall.
According to the affidavit, Vetter told officers she has mental health disorders but claimed she takes medication for the disorders.
Doctors at Cook Children’s speak with detectives
Authorities said detectives later drove to Cook Children’s Medical Center to speak to the victim’s mother and the attending physician. According to Dr. Elizabeth Peeler, a child abuse pediatrician specializing in forensic pediatrics, the victim was in very critical condition and was having seizures due to severe abusive head trauma, stemming from child physical abuse.
Detectives said Dr. Peeler told them it appeared that Vetter was trying to minimize her actions with the victim. She said they were able to rule out any possibility of a medical emergency that caused the injuries to the victim.
The affidavit said Dr. Peeler also told detectives that there were injuries to the victim’s spine, including a severe sprain to the upper part of his neck. She said the injuries the victim suffered are consistent with severe child physical abuse and abusive head trauma.
According to the affidavit, Dr. Peeler referred to this incident as a “near fatality event.”
The affidavit said Dr. Peeler explained the injuries that the victim had were indicative of “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” She said more tests would be conducted to confirm the diagnosis. She also said the victim’s prognosis was very poor and there was a large amount of swelling in the brain.
According to the affidavit, Dr. Peeler told authorities it is believed Vetter struck the victim’s head on the crib and wall several times, not just one time each as she had claimed, and said it caused severe brain trauma to the victim.
Police said Dr. Peeler told them she did not know if the victim would survive.
Detectives also spoke to the victim’s mother, who said Vetter told her the same story about what had happened as she told investigators. She said Vetter had been watching her 10-month-old son for two weeks, and that Vetter has a temper but she “has never seen her take it out on children, just her own dogs”.
The affidavit said police served a search warrant at Vetter’s residence on Becky Drive after their conversation with Dr. Peeler to collect additional evidence from the scene.
This is a developing story. Stick with Texoma’s Homepage for updates as more information becomes available.