OLATHE, Kan. — Newly released court documents are shedding light on a Kansas child abuse case. A man is charged with hitting a two-month-old baby girl belonging to his cousin.
Andrea Donelson said she knows her baby girl, Emmy, is a blessing.
“I had a miscarriage before, so it was very mind-blowing when I found out I was pregnant,” Donelson said. “She was our little miracle rainbow baby.”
But just as she and husband Leon and their little girl, were becoming a family, the unthinkable happened. Leon took his life while stationed with the Marines in North Carolina.
“Our family got torn apart because he lost his battle with depression,” Donelson said. “I try to stay strong and fight every day to be the best mother I can be for her.”
Just a few days after burying her husband, she came to visit family in Olathe. Her cousin, Daniel Ball, offered to watch Emmy so Andrea and his girlfriend could have a girls day to get their minds off all that had happened.
“I thought I could trust him,” said Donelson.
According to court records, Daniel Ball texted Andrea after they’d been gone for only an hour, asking when they were getting back because Emmy “would not quit screaming.” She told him to put Emmy in the bassinet. Then, she arrived back at the house.
“I just find my daughter all bruised up,” Donelson said. “You could tell she was so traumatized. She would not stop crying. I could not console her.”
Andrea rushed Emmy to Children’s Mercy. Doctors documented “major swelling on the side of her face and eye,” “forehead red and puffy,” a “bloody nose.” They determined the injuries were “from non-accidental trauma, child abuse”.
“It’s the hardest thing I could ever look at,” Donelson said.
Daniel Ball was arrested and charged with abusing the two-month-old.
“It’s very heart-wrenching because me and him, me and my cousin Daniel, were actually very close before all this happened,” Donelson said.
She’s thankful her daughter has no permanent physical injuries. She said she believes Emmy’s guardian angel was watching over.
However, she also said her little girl is more jumpy and noise sensitive than she was before the injuries. She said she can’t understand why a trusted family member would hurt her daughter, especially given all they’d been through.
“I want justice for Emmy and don’t want him to just get away with what he did,” Donelson said.
Daniel Ball is out on bond. He told FOX4 he believes the truth will come out about what happened and looks forward to getting an attorney to fight the charges in court. Ball’s next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5.