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COURT DOCS: Mother charged in son’s death also charged with molesting other child

Chelsea Crossland
Chelsea Crossland(WPTA)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 3:14 PM EDT
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JAY COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA) - The sister of the boy Jay County police say was killed by his mother last week told police she witnessed his abuse.

Indiana State Police (ISP) announced on Wednesday that 27-year-old Chelsea L. Crossland was arrested in the death of her 5-year-old son. Court documents in the case say officers were called to her Portland home on March 24 after Crossland told them her son had fallen and was unresponsive.

Investigators said the boy was severely malnourished, had numerous bruises and contusions on his body, and had injuries to his face. They say he was found wearing only a diaper, and officers noted the home was “unkempt and filthy”. Documents say preliminary autopsy results show the boy died from blunt force trauma to his head. It also found the boy was malnourished and dehydrated.

On March 26, detectives interviewed the boy’s 9-year-old sister who said her mother had beaten, spanked, and choked her brother with her hands and other objects. She also said that Crossland did not immediately call for help for the boy and said she discussed disposing of his body. The girl then told investigators that her mother would often punish her brother by withholding food from him for days at a time. Detectives then spoke with the boy’s father, who said Crossland had previously said she wished the boy were dead.

Police were then informed that the woman sexually abused another child. Crossland is currently charged with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and child molesting.

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