Fred Goodrich noticed his 2-year-old grandson had a few red marks on his arms and hands after he came home from a weekend visit with his mother. The young boy was living under the temporary custody of his grandparents at the time.
On August 6, Fred took his grandson to the hospital where the doctors documented the injuries and proceeded to remove the young boy’s shirt.Where’s Baby Kate/Facebook
In an interview with Dearly, Fred said he became concerned when he saw more red spots on the young boy’s chest:
“I didn’t even realize the chest marks were there until we were at the hospital.”
According to the medical report, the boy suffered first-degree burns on his chest and second-degree burns on his hands.Where’s Baby Kate/Facebook
Fred immediately filed a child abuse report with Child Protective Services. A few days later, he went into the police department and filed a report.
A family member saw the boy after he returned from the hospital and posted photographs of him on social media.
The photographs were reposted by a child abuse awareness page on Facebook called “Where Is Baby Kate?” The images were shared more than 1,000 times.Where Is Baby Kate/Facebook
The boy’s maternal grandmother, Mandy Walsh, told Dearly that the child received burns while under her care on August 3:
“[My grandson] got burnt by a Cup of Noodle soup on August 3. He had immediate emergency care at the hospital, and by the 9th, his bandage was off and healing quite well […] As a mom, I knew the first days after a burn are important so it doesn’t get infected. We were too afraid Fred wouldn’t dress the wounds right and it would get infected. He was told what happened, just as I’ve told you.”
She claims that her daughter, Liane, has received death threats and has been physically intimidated since the photographs were posted on Facebook.
Mandy also suspects Fred posted the photographs because he felt he would lose an upcoming court custody battle and he wanted to intimidate her daughter.
In an October 4 family court hearing to determine the permanent custody of the child, the boy was returned to the full custody of his mother. The father does not want custody of the child and did not attend the hearing.
Fred told Dearly that his problem wasn’t with Liane, but instead with CPS and the way the agency handled his concerns over alleged child abuse:
“My gripe is with the CPS agency. There’s a whole lot of things that aren’t adding up [concerning my grandson’s care] and I’m tired of them not adding up.”
He feels that CPS should’ve followed up with the court custody evaluator and others involved with his grandson’s care. Dearly reached out to CPS three times, but they were unable to give a comment on the case.
Additionally, Dearly confirmed that a police report was filed to the Anne Arundel Police Department in Maryland. The investigation is ongoing.
Fred said his main concern is that his grandson won’t be protected from further harm now that the custody battle is over:
“This is not something I should have to worry about as a grandfather. My grandson deserves to live somewhere safe.”
He wanted to share his story of alleged child abuse to protect other children who might be going through similar cases:
Where’s Baby Kate/Facebook
“If someone reads this and notices a problem in a child’s care, please report it right away. It could help save a kid’s life. That’s important to me. The state failed my grandson, but other people need to know how this process works to save another children.”
Goodrich was surprised by how many people shared his grandson’s photographs on the “Where Is Baby Kate?” Facebook group. He’s considering starting his own page to help protect kids in his county from child abuse and neglect.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if child abuse is suspected, individuals are urged to contact the Child Protective Services office or law enforcement agency.
Additionally, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline can help people navigate the social service space. Anyone with information about suspected child abuse is encouraged to call 1-800-422-4453.