Undocumented Haines City couple arrested after 2-year-old child suffers multiple injuries

Polk County

HAINES CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Haines City couple was arrested for aggravated child neglect with great bodily harm after a 2-year-old child in their custody suffered multiple injuries.

According to police, Alejandro Gallardo, 34, and his live-in girlfriend, Yuri Melgar, 33, were arrested Monday.

Detectives received a complaint from the Department of Children and Families around 10 p.m. Sunday night while the child was at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando being treated for dual ear drainage.

The child suffered multiple scratches on his head, back and torso and he had multiple sores.

The child had very thin legs, a protruding rib cage and rotten, chipped teeth.

Police also said the children had a fractured or broken left arm that was not properly treated and an open wound about two inches in diameter on the left forearm.

The child was unable to stand, walk or crawl and didn’t appear to have been bathed in days.

“To treat an animal this way would be an outrage, much less a child,” Chief Jim Elensky said. 

Detectives arrived at the couple’s apartment overnight Sunday and found a well-kept residence with three other children who appeared to be properly cared for.

Gallardo told detectives he has had custody of the child since January. 

Melgar is the child’s primary caregiver.

Both Gallardo and Melgar are undocumented and are being detained by the US Department of Homeland Security. 

DCF has placed the child with a family friend.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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