Family claims accident in Mahnomen child abuse investigation
The Mahnomen County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case as potential child abuse. The family of the young girl says it was an unfortunate accident.
MAHNOMEN, Minn. — A 3-year old girl remains in a Fargo hospital after friends and family say she required brain surgery following an incident at her home in northwestern Minnesota Monday night.
Those close to the family also said Raelissa would likely be sedated for several days and could be hospitalized for more than a month.
The events that led to the hospitalization are still under investigation at this time, according to Mahnomen County Sheriff Josh Guenther.
Guenther said the girl was flown to Sanford Monday evening after a medical call at the Riverland Apartments in Mahnomen.
Police did not get involved until Tuesday when doctors at Sanford called to report it appeared to them the girl had been abused, he added.
The girl's family, however, has repeatedly denied investigator's claims, maintaining her injuries were accidental.
They claimed a mattress tipped over, causing her to slam her head on a coffee table.
Family and friends all said Raelissa's mother would never hurt her child, adding that she is a wonderful mother.
Sheriff Guenther says his office has reason to believe that the girl was abused, and there is no indication so far that it was an accident.
He also said all parties involved have cooperated with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension's interview requests.
No charges have been filed, but Mahnomen County authorities expect to release more details later this week.