An Indiana man is accused of scalping his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter, authorities said.
Mother Noel Maxwell told investigators she was asleep when her boyfriend, Andrew J. Milburn, and her daughter returned from visiting his parents’ home in Russiaville on Feb. 23 around 9 p.m., according to the Howard County Sheriff’s Department.
Maxwell said she woke up to check on the child when she noticed extensive swelling on the side of her daughter’s head. When she asked Milburn what happened, he told her she must have fallen from a chair at his parents’ house, deputies said.
The Howard County Sheriff’s Department said they received a complaint from Child Protective Services on Feb. 24 when the child had been taken to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis.
At the hospital, doctors said the injuries weren’t consistent with a fall but described them as a “scalping," according to the sheriff's department. Scalping is the act of forcibly removing the scalp from the skull, causing internal bleeding. When blood settles around the skull, bruising and swelling become visible.
Authorities said further investigation revealed Milburn had struck the child multiple times on the head, as well as forcibly pulling her hair out while at the Russiaville home.
Milburn was taken into custody Tuesday on a charge of battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age. He is being held in the Howard County Jail on a $25,000 bond.
Milburn's attorney information wasn't immediately available.