A husband and wife stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma are suspected of brutally abusing a 1-year-old boy whose mother left him in their custody while she was fighting for her country in Afghanistan.
Master Sgt. Gary Knight of the Oklahoma City Police told Fox 25 in Oklahoma City that the child has “numerous injuries, including broken ribs,” and that the injuries “appear to have happened over a period of time.” Among the injuries listed in the police report are a broken left shoulder, a lacerated liver, a punctured lung with blood in the abdomen and a large bite mark on the left thigh.
The baby has been in the hospital since Thursday, when he was admitted for recurring vomiting after suffering a seizure. Doctors who examined him there discovered he had injuries all over his body.
Oklahoma City Police say the boy's mother left her newborn child in the custody of airmen Gabriel Solis, 29, and his wife, Elsa, 30, entrusting them to take care of the baby while she was stationed in Afghanistan. Before being deployed, the mother and the Solises were stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, where they formed a trusting relationship. Soon after the boy's mother was deployed, the Solises were transferred to Oklahoma.
The boy's mother has returned to the U.S. and is with her child at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center, Jennifer Wardlow of Oklahoma City Police confirmed. The mother's identity was not released.
Police have not filed charges against the Solises, who were released after posting bond. The couple have two children of their own, a 4- and 7-year-old who are now in protective custody. This is protocol, Wardlow said, "to be on the safe side, always erring on the side of caution so that children will be safe."
Neither of the Solises could explain the child's injuries, police said. The only comment the wife made to police was that the boy bruised his face by falling on a toy, Fox25 reported. The Solises could not be reached for comment.
Ralph Monson, public affairs officer at Tinker Air Force Base, said officials will continue to provide pre- and post-deployment support and services to military members and their families. “As military members, our airmen understand that they can and will be called to serve in deployed locations around the globe at any time, leaving their family members behind in the care of a spouse, relative or other designated persons," Monson said in a statement. "It is every airman’s responsibility to ease that strain by being as prepared as possible.”
FoxNews.com's Meghan Baker contributed to this report.