ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office arrested a 24-year-old woman Wednesday after a hospital worker reported that her 2-year-old daughter was "covered" in bruises.
When an ACSO investigator questioned the woman about the bruising on her child, she originally claimed that the injuries were caused by a "demonic presence" in her house before changing her story, according to the arrest affidavit.
Holly Anne Jones, of Huntington, is still being held in the Angelina County jail on a first-degree felony injury to a child with bodily injury charge. No bail amount has been set at this time.
According to the arrest affidavit, an ACSO deputy was dispatched to Woodland Heights Medical Center's emergency room in reference to a possible child abuse case on June 27. When he spoke to a hospital employee, he or she told him that the child was "covered" in bruises.
The deputy then talked to Jones, who said she took her daughter to the beach on May 20, and when they came back, the toddler had a bruise on the inside of her ear. She told the deputy the child "just woke up like that," the affidavit stated.
Jones told the ACSO deputy that she took the child to the hospital on June 1, and the doctor diagnosed the toddler with "telogen effluvium," an illness caused by a type of bacteria.
According to the affidavit, Jones claimed that she took her daughter to the hospital several times after the beach trip. She allegedly said she didn't know where the bruises were coming from or why her daughter's hair was "falling out in clumps."
The ACSO deputy asked Jones how she disciplines the child, and she said that her daughter doesn't respond to spankings. She told the deputy that she usually puts the child in "timeout: when she is throwing "temper tantrums," the affidavit stated.
"During these fits, Holly stated the baby has been known to strike herself in the face, but not hard enough to cause a bruise," the affidavit stated.
The ACSO deputy photographed the bruising on the 2-year-old girl. According to the affidavit, she had bruises all over her face, chin, forehead, arms, buttocks, and hips. He also took pictures of the areas of her head where her hair was thinned.
When the ACSO investigator who took over the case looked at photos taken by a Child Protective Services investigator, the girl's head had red marks, which suggested that the child's head had been pulled from her head, or she had scratched her head to cause the irritated areas, the affidavit stated.
The 2-year-old girl also had sores in her mouth and on her body, the affidavit stated. In addition, her bottom was very red and had purple blotches. In the affidavit, the ACSO investigator said the injuries were "indicative of severe discipline."
A doctor at Woodland Heights told the responding ACSO deputy that hair loss and sores in the mouth are often indications of malnutrition.
When the ACSO investigator interviewed Jones about the bruising on her child, she told him several different stories.
"Holly once stated the bruising was due to a 'demonic presence' in her house," the affidavit stated. "She also stated that the child could have bruised herself by hitting herself in the face."
Jones told the investigator that her ex-husband had visitation of the girl on Father's Day and that she and her boyfriend had custody of her daughter from June 20 to June 27.
Jones also told the ACSO investigator that her daughter refused to eat anything but corn dogs for a while. She said that she would try to make the girl eat by grabbing her face, the affidavit stated.
During one of the interviews, Jones told the investigator that her boyfriend would watch the girl when she was at work, and she would return home at about 5:30 p.m. during the week, the affidavit stated. She also allegedly told the investigator that her boyfriend had told her he saw a demonic spirit in the house.
When the investigator asked Jones' boyfriend if he had seen anything like that, he denied it.
According to the affidavit, the investigator confronted Jones about her deceptive answers, and she hinted that her boyfriend had caused the injuries. She also allegedly said that she never saw anything untoward happen between her boyfriend and her daughter.
The boyfriend told the investigator that he would get home late from work and that when he noticed new bruises on the baby, he would ask Jones about them, the affidavit stated.
The boyfriend's father told the ACSO investigator that his son first told him that Jones said the injuries were caused by a spirit and later stated that the child may have been "sleepwalking," the affidavit stated.
Later, the investigator questioned the girl's father, and he provided the law enforcement officer with photos taken on June 20 that showed the girl didn't have the massive amount of bruising that she had when she was taken to the hospital on June 27.
The ACSO investigator visited the girl when she was in her father's custody and noticed that the bruises were healing, the affidavit stated. In addition, the child's father said his daughter had started gaining weight since she was placed in his custody.
Two of Jones' family members told the investigator that when they babysat the girl in early June, so Jones could work, they started brushing the girl's hair, and it began falling out in clumps, the affidavit stated.
"When Holly's mother saw the baby, she observed the numerous bruises all over the child, called her own mother, and stated that it appeared the baby had been 'beaten up,'" the affidavit stated.