KEY POINTS

  • Jennifer Wolfthal recently published a children's book about friendship
  • She was arrested on charges of child abuse, child neglect with bodily harm and domestic violence battery
  • Her 8-year-old daughter, who was hospitalized, had several cuts and bruises indicating abuse
  • Her two other children also had bruises and presented signs of malnutrition and lack of care

A children's book author from Florida has been arrested on charges of child abuse after her three children were found with injuries and signs of malnutrition.

Jennifer Wolfthal, 41, of Casselberry was arrested on New Year's Eve after her critically injured daughter was brought to a hospital. The 8-year-old girl was hospitalized for multiple injuries, which Wolfthal's husband initially claimed to be from accidents.

The investigators soon found out that the girl had severe cuts and bruises that indicated abuse. The child had to be transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for treatment.

Wolfthal recently published a children's book on friendship and previously taught fourth grade in public schools. She was arrested on charges of child abuse, child neglect with great bodily harm and domestic violence battery, reported Orlando Sentinel.

Seminole County Sheriff's Office then requested a well-being check on her two other children at her home. According to the arrest report, the children also had signs of malnutrition, bruises and lack of care.

The investigators interviewed Wolfthal's husband who claimed that the girl had been taken to the hospital after being ill and suffering from injuries for many days. However, The Sherrif's Office noted in the report that it was Wolfthal's actions that had caused the girl's "bruises, lacerations, swelling and skin infections."

According to the husband's initial statement, the girl got injured while brushing her teeth too hard and had bleeding in her mouth five days before she was brought to the hospital. He admitted that the girl had swelling on her face and was "wobbly" the day after the injury. He thought the girl was suffering from vertigo, he told the investigators.

Wolfthal reportedly told him that the girl had fallen three times, hitting her face on the toilet once and hitting her head on the desk after. The husband told the investigators that he had not witnessed any of the incidents first-hand.

hand-984170_640 The girl who was hospitalized had “bruises, lacerations, swelling, bleeding and skin infections.” Photo: pixabay

But the investigators were not convinced that the girl's falls had been caused by vertigo. "Due to the height and weight of [the girl], it is not likely the swollen bruise on the back of her head and the laceration on her lip and broken tooth were caused by off balance falls," according to the arrest report.

The husband told investigators that Wolfthal was the sole caregiver for their children. She allegedly never allowed him to discipline the kids and even attacked him whenever he tried to intervene. He also reported that she had punched him in his chest once and locked him in the laundry room on several occasions as punishment.

The investigators sensed a strong smell of ammonia in Wolfthal's house and noticed that the rooms had been cleaned up.

Seminole Sheriff's Office said the children have been placed in protective custody. Meanwhile, Wolfthal has been released on $76,000 bail, reported local news outlet Wesh 2.