SHAMOKIN — A Shamokin woman is in jail on six felonies after her 21-day-old twins were treated at Geisinger Medical Center Wednesday night for multiple fractured bones and apparent burns in and around their mouths.
Tifany Ann Walter, 29, of 321 N. Shamokin St., was arraigned by Magisterial Judge John Gembic this morning in lieu of $100,000 cash bail on three felony charges of aggravated assault attempts with indifference to life, three felony charges of endangering the welfare of a child and two misdemeanors of recklessly endangering another person.
At 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Diane Stine, of Northumberland County Children and Youth, was contacted by Geisinger in reference to two alleged cases of infants with multiple fractured bones. She informed Patrolman Raymond Siko II that a case worker was on their way to the Danville hospital.
Siko said he arrived at Geisinger shortly after 11 p.m. and spoke with the case worker before interviewing Dr. Steven Crellin of the emergency department, who reported the numerous fractures could be consistent with abuse. According to Crellin, Walter's mother, Brenda Kulp, asked for the children's injuries to be looked at very closely because she believed her daughter did something to the infants.
The on-duty nurse told Siko the first twin had a fractured left femur, fractured left radius, left and right distal femur fractures, a fractured right tibia and fibia and what appeared to be a burn near the mouth as well as injuries to the inside of his mouth and tongue.
The second child suffered bilateral proximal and distal tibia fractures, a right fibia fracture and break to the first rib, as well as what appears to be burns to the face, nose and injury to the inner mouth and tongue.
In the children's hospital where the infants were transferred, Kulp told Siko she witnessed her daughter getting angry with the babies very quickly and being rough with them. The children had been in her care and were returned to Walter on Sunday. At that time, Kulp said they appeared to be fine.
Siko spoke with Walter at 12:05 a.m. and said she showed "no emotion" while he spoke to her about her children and was told "it wasn't me" when he explained the injuries in the infants were consistent with abuse or being handled very roughly.
Walter claimed she had been changing the first baby's diaper at 5 p.m. that day and heard a small pop in his leg, so she called her mother in Berwick and together they took the baby to Geisinger.
During the interview, Walter allegedly admitted she wrapped the baby in a blanket and "dropped him in" a pack and play on Tuesday, stating "it wasn't very high" and he likes to sleep on his stomach.
Throughout questioning, Siko said she continued to show no emotion while attempting to deflect questions and play with her phone. She was asked if she would submit to a polygraph exam but wouldn't answer. Siko said she shook her head to say "no" when he asked her "because you would not pass it?"
Walter was taken into custody and interviewed again at the Shamokin Police Department where she provided additional details about her handling of the infants. On Monday, she stated one child was crying nonstop while the other was being fed, so when she picked him to to feed him, he kept bending his legs under him and she would grab them and pull them out, getting upset with him several times.
She said she then carried him over to an air mattress and dropped him on it. After he landed on his back, bounced and ended up on his stomach, she allegedly told police she grabbed him by his arm and rolled him.
Siko reported Walter also saying she picked one of the children up buy his arm because he was crying on Tuesday and laid him on the bed, but she couldn't remember which child. She also reported she picked up one of the children in that same matter at least twice and the other at least once.
In her statement, she also told police that believes she fell on the floor Tuesday while holding one of the child, but she couldn't remember which child she was holding.
Walter, who at the hospital told Siko she was bipolar and had been off her medication, said she had been on edge lately. Siko reported when asked if she thought maybe she was rough with the children, she stated, "Sometimes I guess. I just get frustrated!"
Walter was transported to Mifflin County Prison, where she awaits a preliminary hearing before Gembic scheduled Tuesday.