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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Noblesville couple have been charged after their baby suffered “catastrophic injury” possibly from shaken baby syndrome.

Herman Bland III and Ifrica Almalik face charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, a level one felony.

According to court documents, the Noblesville Police Department was contacted by the Indiana Department of Child Services on Oct. 23, 2021. The couple’s two-month-old baby boy had been taken to a hospital by ambulance after showing seizure-like symptoms, according to court documents. DCS staff was told the child was having surgery for a possible brain bleed that may have been caused by shaken baby syndrome.

A child abuse physician with the hospital shared notes with NPD detectives.

The couple told the physician that the baby began making jerking movements the night before he went to the hospital, according to court documents. They said his eyes began looking down two weeks prior to going to the hospital. They also said his head had been getting larger.

The physician said the child suffered:

  • bleeding into the lining of his brain on both sides
  • bleeding behind the eyes on both sides
  • bruising to the right eyeball
  • broken bone in his left wrist
  • probable broken ribs
  • brain damage

“The above noted injuries are consistent with severe physical child abuse in the form of abusive head trauma,” a report from the child abuse physician reads.

The report also called the injuries “life threatening and have resulted in brain damage expected to cause some permanent neurological disability.”

Police received a search warrant to go through Almalik’s phone.

Court documents state her search history included “can a kick to the head cause a hematoma in a newborn” and “how do you know if a person is guilty of baby shaken syndrome.”

Police also discovered a text message exchange in Almalik’s phone with a person listed as “Mama Jannie.” A text from “Mama Jannie” on Oct. 22, 2021 read, “Hell the way you was tossing him probably shocked him you know his big head,” according to court documents. Police say Almalik responded with, “STFUUUU. I thought about that too.”

“Mama Jannie” is not identified in court documents and police say when they tried to call the number, it was no longer active.

Bland and Almalik were booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Wednesday night.

Online court records show they have initial court appearances scheduled for Thursday afternoon.