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Woman Faces Felony Child Endangerment Charges for Allegedly Delaying Medical Care

by on December 17, 2014 10:30 AM

State College police say a Bellefonte woman faces felony charges after allegedly injuring her newborn child and failing to seek medical attention.

According to court documents, Beverly Duck, 25, had recently given birth at Mount Nittany Medical Center on August 15 when Children and Youth Services (CYS) staff received a call that Duck had dropped her newborn on the floor, causing a skull fracture. CYS was reportedly aware of several text messages Duck had sent during her pregnancy about not wanting her baby, leading CYS to plan to remove the child from Duck's care.

CYS contacted State College police, who began investigating the incident. The father of the child had been asleep in Duck's hospital room when the infant was injured, and told police he woke up to find Duck holding the child and crying, according to the criminal complaint. Duck reportedly told the father that the infant had been sleeping on her chest and fell to floor when she woke up from a nightmare.

The father reportedly told police that he and Duck checked the infant for injuries and attempted to feed the child for ten minutes before Duck sent the father to find a nurse. Duck reportedly told the father not to tell the nurse what had happened. The father reportedly told police that he had considered that Duck may have hurt the child intentionally, but that he didn't reveal his suspicions to Duck.

Police also interviewed a friend of Duck's, who reportedly told police that she had received text messages from Duck during her pregnancy threatening to hurt her unborn child. The friend reported these messages to CYS, and police say they were able to obtain copies of the messages. "Im killing the baby and whatever," one message reportedly reads.

Police say that Duck purposefully delayed providing medical to the newborn, leading to a felony charge of endangering the welfare of children.

Duck's friend also revealed new details in an incident police had looked into the previous year, in which one of Duck's children had to be treated for a dislocated elbow. She reportedly said Duck told her multiple stories about how her daughter's elbow had been dislocated.

In August 2013, a CYS worker visited Duck's home for a scheduled visit and found her three-year-old daughter guarding her arm and complaining of pain, according to court documents. The CYS worker took the child to the hospital where she was treated for a dislocated elbow, according to the complaint. A police investigation reportedly revealed that Duck had pulled too hard on the child's arm and declined to take her to the hospital. CYS removed Duck's three children from her care in response.

Duck also faces a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of children in connection with the allegations from 2013.

She is currently being held at the Centre County Correctional Facility on $5,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 31.



Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for StateCollege.com who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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