A Hannibal, Missouri, man accused of two counts of first-degree assault on a 7-week-old baby girl, which almost killed her, is facing two consecutive life sentences in prison if he is convicted of the charges.
The man, Dustin T. Dye, was entrusted with the care of the child, named Nora, while her mother, Melinda Britt, went to work late last Tuesday evening, according to a WGEM report. Dye, a trusted family friend, brought baby Nora to her mother's place of work a few hours later and she quickly realized that her daughter was cold and damp so she rushed her to the hospital.
A day later, on June 4, Nora's grandmother, pastor Kimberly Britt of Faith Miracle Ministry, who helped track down the Dye after he went missing, revealed how badly the infant was hurt.
"Baby Nora is still in stable condition. She has a big skull fracture on her left side, two small factures on the top of her head, bleeding on her brain, bruises on her chest and bottom, and her right wrist is fractured. She's still on a ventilator, and the MRI has been scheduled for 7:30 a.m. tomorrow. The neurosurgeons have said she doesn't need surgery and that alone is a huge blessing! Please continue to pray; she's got a long road ahead of her. But as we already know and the doctors have said, she's definitely a little fighter," said the praying grandmother.
The discovery shocked both mother and grandmother who considered Dye trustworthy.
"You think you can trust someone, you've watched them," said Melinda. "You've seen how they interact with her in your presence."
In the last few days Nora's progress has been improving with time, according to her grandmother, who has been very public with her praise to God for saving her granddaughter and sparing her daughter the pain of losing a child.
"You can't imagine the overwhelming emotions we have with every minute of progress. It's so hard to share what our family is going through. But when I see this angel squeezing her mommy's finger and her eyes following her voice, I can't help but look to OUR LORD and Savior and thank Him for saving Nora's life. She fought to hang on until mommy got her at lunch break and immediately she knew she was in need of a doctor (at least an hour or more after her beating before getting help). Thank you Jesus for holding Nora in your hands through this horrible ordeal. We Love you Lord. In the name of Jesus, Satan is defeated. Nora will see justice," wrote Britt on her Facebook page.
In a KHQA report, David Clayton of the Marion County Prosecuting Attorney's Office called the allegations "shocking."
"It is shocking that a person could (allegedly) intentionally cause this type of harm to such a defenseless infant. My thoughts and prayers are with the baby and her family as hopefully they can start and continue a process of healing, physically and mentally. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office will work closely with all contributing law enforcement and social service agencies to assure that this little girl and her family receive the justice they so much deserve," he said.