A month in, parents of baby shaken by sitter in Missouri still without custody

TROY, MO (KTVI) – A family in eastern Missouri is devastated after their 5-month-old baby boy was shaken and, despite the babysitter's confession, was taken out of their custody over a month ago.

The parents, Mariah Ramirez and Derek Podany, said the babysitter confessed to the crime.

After spending the day in the care of the sitter, who was a close friend of Ramirez, Daniel was lethargic and at one point started vomiting. That night a Lincoln County doctor told the parents it was a stomach bug, but by the next morning he was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital.

“They told me he had a subdural hemorrhage, he had blood behind both of his eyes and two fractured ribs,” said Ramirez.

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After additional tests, the doctors determined Daniel had been shaken. The happy, laughing baby, was now confined in a hospital room, with an IV in his head.

Ramirez said she had no clue as to how it happened until she got a phone call from another mom, who told her the babysitter had confessed to her about shaking Daniel.

“We don’t really know each other, but we’re very fortunate, because if she wouldn’t have come forward, we still wouldn’t have known,” said Ramirez.

Soon after this phone call, a St. Charles County detective told Ramirez the babysitter had come forward to the authorities as well. Police say the investigation is now complete and in the hands of the St. Charles County prosecutor.

Since the July 22 incident, Daniel has been in protective custody under the care of his grandmother. Ramirez said she was told it’s a precaution for shaken babies, pending a criminal investigation.

“It’s just upsetting that right now there’s been a confession and we still don’t have him back,” she said. “It’s been really hard on us; my son had his injury and then was taken from his parents.”

Once charges are filed, Ramirez said Daniel will likely be back in her arms. She said she hopes her ordeal will help others realize the importance of picking the right babysitter.

“I mean, we really trusted her and never thought this would have happened.” said Ramirez.

Doctors say Daniel luckily won’t suffer any permanent damage. This is rare for shaken babies — most suffer permanent damage and at least 25 percent of them die from the violent shaking.

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