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September 26, 2013

Residents charged with child abuse

Des Moines — A pair of current Knoxville residents are facing several charges stemming from a child abuse incident that occurred in Elkhart earlier this year. 

Clayton John Fischer, 24, and Hollie May Fischer, 21, turned themselves in to the Polk County Sheriff's Department on Monday, Sept. 23. 

Polk County issued warrants for their arrests on Sept. 13, following a two-month investigation in regard to injuries to a four-month-old child. The gender of the child was unknown to Polk County Public Information Officer Sgt. Brent Long. 

According to Long, the child was brought in to Mercy Hospital on July 14 with multiple injuries. The manner in which the injuries were reported to the hospital were inconsistent with what doctors were observing. The child had 14 fractured ribs, a dislocated hip, a fractured wrist and a fractured femur. Detectives arrived on scene and the child was removed from the parents at the time. The child's grandfather took custody. 

The couple was living in Elkhart at the time, which is where the injuries occurred. They provided Polk County with a Knoxville address when they surrendered. The Knoxville Police Department was not involved in the investigation. 

Long did not clarify who brought the child to the hospital, nor did he have much information regarding what was discussed at the hospital, which led to the investigation. He was also asked if parents usually brought the child they allegedly abuse to the hospital, knowing charges like this could be filed.

"I would not say that are is anything 'usual' about a case involving possible child abuse, however we do see cases brought into the hospital like this where there are explanations for the injuries that are not consistent with what the doctors are observing.  Therefore, DHS is called as well as law enforcement," Long replied. 

Both are now facing charges of four counts of Child Endangerment Causing Serious Bodily Injury and one count of Neglect of Abandonment of a Dependent Person. They remain in the Polk County Jail on $50,000 bond. 

No contact orders are in place to keep both suspects away from the child, and all juveniles under age 18. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for Oct. 4 in Polk County. 

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