Couple accused in burned infant case
A Grass Valley couple accused of abusing their 6-week-old child while they were using fentanyl and heroin remained in custody Monday and are expected to appear today in Nevada County Superior Court, authorities say.
Nahla Margaret Andrade-Sekandary, 24, and Isaac Joseph Joe, 38, were arrested Thursday on suspicion of child cruelty, with Margaret facing an additional felony charge of torture, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
The couple’s infant, who sustained significant burn injuries to the hands, as well as other unspecified injuries to the nose, chest, sides, and back, was immediately hospitalized following the arrests. The child has been taken into protective custody by Nevada County Child Welfare Services, and is now making a “steady recovery in a safe environment,” according to Andrew Trygg, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office.
Andrade-Sekandary and Joe were originally arrested after the infant had been admitted to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital nearly two weeks earlier for the burn injuries on the child’s hands. Hospital staff apparently then contacted law enforcement regarding the infant’s injuries, and the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit launched an investigation into the incident, Trygg said.
A review of the child’s wounds later revealed that the burn injuries had been inflicted by “non-accidental trauma,” according to Trygg. When questioned, neither Joe nor Andrade-Sekandary were able to provide satisfactory answers to inquiries about the incident, and both parents apparently later admitted to having been under the influence of drugs during the time period in which the child’s injuries had occurred, Trygg added.
“Both parents admitted to ingesting narcotics, to include fentanyl and heroin, while the victim was present in the same room. They also admitted to being under the influence of a controlled substance to the point they cannot recall the actions they took while they had custody of the victim,” Trygg said.
The suspects were booked Thursday into the Nevada County Jail. Andrade-Sekandary remained held Monday on $500,000 in bail, while Joe’s bond has been set at $200,000, records state.
Stephen Wyer is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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