SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Cory Lee Jones is known as a persistent drug user;, has been convicted of domestic violence, and is now wanted for child abuse. Prosecutors said, if Jones is not caught, he poses a significant risk to the community.
According to a probable cause statement, on April 20, Jones was at home with his then 3-month-old son while the baby's mother was at work. Once the mom came home, she noticed her son had a bruise on his face and was screaming. The child was taken to an emergency room and diagnosed with a brain bleed.
Detectives wrote Jones at first denied anything happened to the child. When pressed, Jones said the baby was on his chest. He turned over and accidentally "bashed" the child's head onto the nightstand. A neurosurgeon told investigators Jones' excuse is unlikely.
"You always want to have a high index of suspicion," said Chandra Hazen, a nurse at Mercy Hospital who specializes in treating child abuse patients. "When a child presents with an injury that doesn't really correlate with the explanation that the care giver or parent is giving, you know in your gut something is wrong."
Hospital workers at Mercy have training to spot abuse and see through potential excuses.
"A lot of times you will have the changing of stories. The first explanation, all of a sudden they come up with a new detail or something that just doesn't fit the injury," said Hazen. "You ask what their developmental age is; what's their milestone that they are meeting; and, do the bruises and injuries that they are expressing, are those consistent with those developmental milestones. Is it something that goes beyond their years, is it a large body of the area of the bruising that's in various stages of healing.? Those are things that we will typically look for. Our ultimate goal is to make sure any child coming in and leaving our department is in safe hands and in safe care."
It's not the first time Jones' child was in the hospital. Detectives noted the baby had a previous brain bleed. When asked about that injury, Jones again initially admitted nothing. Then, he explained, he might have hit the child's head on a door frame.
The baby's mother told investigators Jones has anger issues and is "the biggest liar ever." In an affidavit to the court requesting a warrant for Jones' arrest, the prosecuting attorney wrote Jones took anger management classes and was almost kicked out for smoking marijuana. Jones is regarded as a "flight risk" who is on probation for a domestic assault conviction and he has drug charges against him.
Jones is charged with felony child endangerment. The prosecutor said the reason it took more than seven months to file charges is due to the child's "complicated medical issues."
A warrant has been issued for his arrest.