On September 19th 2015, Investigators from the Boone County Sheriff’s Office were called to the Cox Medical Center in Branson Missouri in reference to an alleged incident of child abuse occurring in Omaha Arkansas.
Upon arrival, Emergency Staff advised that a 7 week old infant was being transferred to a children’s hospital in Springfield Missouri and being admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. Staff advised that the infant had suffered multiple serious physical injuries, including fractures to the skull, ribs, spine, and fingers along with injuries to the brain. Doctors reported that these types of injuries were likely not of an accidental nature and appeared suspicious.
While taking the report, it was discovered that an additional 14 month old infant living in the home showed signs and symptoms of trauma as well. The children from the home were then taken into protective custody as a result of the suspicious injuries.
An investigation ensued and as a result of the interviews with the parents of the infants, both were taken into custody.
On September 22nd 2015, Steven Simmons of Omaha was booked into the Boone County Jail and is currently being held on $150,000.00 bond pending formal charges for Battery in the First Degree upon a child less than 4 years of age, Battery in the Second Degree upon a child less than 12 years of age and Permitting the Abuse of a Minor Child.
On the same day, Rachel Clayton, the Mother of the children, also of Omaha was booked into the Boone County Jail and is currently being held on $150,000.00 bond pending formal charges for Battery in the First Degree upon a child less than 4 years of age and Permitting the Abuse of a Minor Child.
Assisting with the investigation was the Taney County Missouri Sheriff’s Office, the Missouri State Department of Family Services, the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division, and the Arkansas Department of Human Services.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Office would also like to take this opportunity to raise awareness with regards to child and infant abuse. The State of Arkansas does have a Safe Haven Law which is intended to prevent such incidents as this one. Boone County Sheriff’s office is a designated Safe Haven location.
A distressed parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their infant can give up custody of their baby, no questions asked. They must simply bring the infant to a safe haven location and make sure they locate a person to give the child. As long as the child shows no signs of intentional abuse, no name or other information is required. The specific locations and maximum age of the child varies from state to state. You can find the details of for your location by using the website http://safehaven.tv/states/ or you can call a toll free number at 1-888-510-BABY. It's safe, it's anonymous and you do not need to tell anyone.