KEY POINTS

  • A 23-month-old girl was found with life-threatening injuries.
  • The man caring for the toddler was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse.
  • The suspect has been identified as Yannier Velazquez Orjeda, 36.

A 36-year-old man was arrested after a 23-month-old girl was found with life-threatening injuries in his care. Lee County Sheriff’s Office said that deputies responded to a home on 23rd Street SW on a medical call and found a toddler in critical condition.

The girl was immediately taken to Golisano Children’s Hospital and then flown in a helicopter to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for treatment. Authorities said that the toddler’s condition was not consistent with accidental injuries. Upon further investigation, detectives found probable cause to arrest Yannier Velazquez Orjeda, 36.

The toddler reportedly remains in critical condition as of Monday. 

The relationship between the 23-month old and Orjeda was not confirmed in the press release.

Orjeda is in custody at Lee County Jail without a bond and faces a charge for aggravated child abuse.

“I am outraged and saddened to report that another young child is fighting for their life as a result of physical abuse,” stated Sheriff Carmine Marceno. “As always, our detectives will work around the clock with the State Attorney’s Office to bring these despicable criminals to justice.”

Other details about the incident remain unknown.

handcuff Representational image of a man in handcuffs. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Earlier this month, three people were arrested for brutally beating a 14-month-old child in Columbus County, N.C. According to a statement released by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington on March 9 after receiving information that a toddler was being treated for major trauma.

The medical staff told the officers that “both of the child’s arms and legs were broken, the had child sustained extensive bruising and extreme head trauma, resulting in extensive brain injuries.” The toddler was then flown to UNC Medical Center where the child underwent multiple surgeries.

The investigation concluded that Jeanne Spaulding, 48; Kayla Michelle Evers, 26; and Parker Delane Spaulding, 24, who were responsible for the supervision of the toddler, had “willfully committed and/or grossly, negligently omitted acts resulting in the extensive trauma to the 14-month-old child, by applying extreme physical pressure to the child’s body.”