Middleburg couple charged with child neglect

Deputies: Arrests made after 7-month-old taken to ER with broken femur, rashes

Clay County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Barbara Barton and Jonathan Whitlatch
Clay County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Barbara Barton and Jonathan Whitlatch

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A couple were arrested Friday after a 7-month-old showed up in an emergency room with a broken femur and rashes, which investigators believe to be from fleas, according to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Barbara Barton, 27, and Jonathan Whitlatch II, 29, both of Middleburg, are each charged with one count of child neglect. 

According to an arrest report, the charges stem from a Dec. 21 incident in which Barton took the infant to the emergency room at St. Vincent's Medical Center Clay County and told doctors the child had been screaming when held and had redness on the right knee, elbow and back. The report states there was possibly a rash from flea bites, which had persisted for two days. 

According to the report, the emergency room physician noticed swelling in the right leg, which scans eventually revealed to be an acute fracture of the femur bone. The report states that type of an injury to a child that young frequently indicates child abuse due to the required force needed to fracture the femur. 

The child was transported to Wolfson Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. Results of the evaluation were omitted from the report obtained by News4Jax, but the report did reveal that Barton was interviewed on Jan. 24 and Whitlatch was interviewed on Feb. 6. Details of those conversations were omitted from the report. Two days after that interview, both suspects were arrested. 

Neither suspect has a criminal record and both have bonded out of jail. Their next court date has not yet been determined.

Their arrests come one day after an Arlington couple were arrested Thursday on charges of aggravated child abuse and child neglect after Jacksonville police said a child was hospitalized.

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