CARTHAGE, Mo. — Monday a Carthage, Missouri, Foster Mother was arraigned in Jasper County Court on four Felony Charges of Child Abuse.
According to court documents, Jennifer L. Chanslor-Chambers, is the defendant named and person arrested by the Carthage Police Department in the early morning hours of November 24.
According to the Probable Cause filed, the victims are two sisters, who live with Chanslor-Chambers. “Chambers is the foster mom to both. [One child] requires special medical care and has a tracheostomy. [She] has had sole legal care and custody of both girls since 2019.”
Carthage Police state Chanslor-Chambers admitted during interviewing she was nervous about bringing the child to Freeman Hospital Joplin due to law enforcement being contacted.
However Chanslor-Chambers voluntarily brought the youngest girl to the hospital at the urging of a third party who had witnessed the girl in her bedroom at home; “ashen in color, laying in a fetal position, in obvious pain with her abdomen distended,” states the affidavit.
At Freeman Hospital multiple injuries were observed including:
- bilateral interior knee bruises
- bruising on the elbows and ankles
- sore on the inner lower lip
- wound above her eyebrow that was scabbed over
- scratches and nail marks on the right side of her face extending down the neck and chin
- knot on her right parietal bone that was purple in color
- rash that extended from the right cheek down the trunk, arms and legs
- anterior scalp sore that was healing
- bruise to the forehead
Due to the deteriorating condition, she was medflighted to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City.
After being admitted to Children’s Mercy their initial observations additionally included:
- internal abdominal injuries, lacerated spleen and liver
- possibility of a brain bleed.
Back in Joplin the Children’s Division of Jasper County were contacted by Freeman Hospital staff with abuse concerns. A well-being check was then executed to the older sister, eight years old, who was at home.
Documents state, “Children’s Division [staff] observed visible bruising including her left eye being swollen to the point where [the girls] eye was not visible.”
The injuries alerted staff and the child was immediately transported by ambulance to Freeman Hospital in Joplin. Carthage Police were also contacted and met them at the hospital.
Carthage Police Detective Trevor Hole writes his observation of injuries to the eight year in the PC:
- left eye being swollen shut, eye not visible
- from nose to the outside of eye socket, heavily bruised and swollen around the approximate size of a golf ball
- bruising on the right side of her face in what appeared to resemble a palm print style pattern
Freeman medical staff documented further injuries including:
- two broken fingers on her left hand
- fractures on her left hand
- observations of more bruising on the girls face, neck and head areas not noticed by the detective.
The second sister was also transported to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City and was admitted.
Chanslor-Chambers had no explanation for the multiple injuries, telling hospital staff and the detective that the child falls a lot.
However contrary to the Foster Mother’s claim of falling the affidavit states, “The on duty physician at Freeman advised that the bruising was not consistent with a fall injury. Children’s Mercy confirmed that the injuries are the result of non-accidental trauma and that the injuries would have occurred recently.”
Chanslor-Chambers is in the Jasper County Jail on a no bond hold. After Monday’s arraignment a bond hearing is now scheduled for December 9, at 8:30 AM, in Joplin, before Judge Hensley.
Carthage Police requested the defendant remain in custody. “[Defendant] has access to both juveniles due to them residing with her. [One girl] is barely able to communicate verbally and has several underlying medical issues that [the defendant] was providing care for.”
Additionally it is noted that Chanslor-Chambers has a history of Domestic Assault Investigations with the Carthage Police Department.