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Family wants answers after baby injured with sitter

Baby-sitter tells police 7-month-old with broken limbs fell down stairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The parents of a 7-month-old girl are wondering why no one has been arrested after they say she was abused after being left with a baby-sitter.

That baby-sitter says the child, Belle Baker, fell down the stairs.

"There is no way in the world she could have just fallen from those stairs," Bell's mother, Ashley Ervin, said. "There had to be something else involved."

Belle is in intensive care at Wolfson Children's Hospital. Her brain is swelling, both of her legs and both of her arms are broken, her collar bone is fractured, and she has bruises on her face.

Belle's parents said they are upset because they left the child with a relative to baby-sit for a few days, and then got a call that the little girl was in the hospital. They said they are worried and angry and are wondering why there has not been an arrest.

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They're also questioning why an ambulance was not called for little Belle.

"I kind of noticed something was wrong, like she had been crying all day, you know," Ervin said. "I didn't think of no abuse or nothing."

Ervin said Belle was being watched at the baby-sitter's apartment for several days, and she thought something was wrong last Saturday when she got a call about her little girl. Then Sunday, she got the call that her baby was in the hospital.

"That's when I went in. I almost collapsed," Ervin said. "I got there -- her arm, both her arms, are broken, both of her legs are broken. She's got a cast on her arm and her leg. She has a splint on her arm."

Police were eventually called to the hospital, where they questioned the baby-sitter, who News4Jax is not naming because she has not been arrested.

In the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report, the baby-sitter said a baby seat made out of plastic was in the hallway in front of the  stairs with a small, soft child's toy. She told police Belle possibly pulled herself to the stairway by sliding across the tile floor and then climbed on the child seat and fell down the stairs with the seat.

She said Belle landed halfway down the 13 steps and the seat and toys landed at the bottom of the stairs.

"She thinks she fell down the steps, but she told me she had her strapped in something," Ervin said. "But she told someone else that she was in a walker, pulled up on a walker, and fell to the middle of the stairs and didn't fall all the way down the stairs. But when she told me the story, she was like laying down there on the floor. The story is not adding up."

The baby-sitter took Belle to the hospital in her own car. Ervin said the baby-sitter told her that she didn't call an ambulance because she was worried about the cost.

"The fee, you know, was like $10,000, but it doesn't matter if it was like $10,000, this is my daughter's life," Ervin said.

Ervin and the girl's father, Arsenio Baker, said they believe they are not getting the whole story from the baby-sitter.

"I'm angry. The story just doesn't sound right," Baker said. "When I got to the hospital, she was acting nonchalant. She was not worried if my daughter was OK or where she's been. She was just worried about her car."

During her interview with News4Jax, Ervin received a call from police. She said she is planning to meet with a detective again in the hospital.

Belle is getting better, but her family wants some action. The Department of Children and Families is investigating.

News4Jax went to the baby-sitter's apartment seeking comment but no one was home, and we have not heard back from her. 


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