Author: Elyssa Cherney
A 2-month-old boy from Northwest Indiana died this weekend from multiple injuries suffered in child abuse, the Cook County medical examiner’s office determined Tuesday.
The infant, identified as Ayden Zylstra from Wheatfield, Ind., was pronounced at 9:12 p.m. Sunday at Comer Children’s Hospital. His death was ruled a child abuse homicide following an autopsy Tuesday.
His parents, Dannae Zylstra, 18, and Michael Zylstra, 27, face felony drug and child neglect charges after the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office searched a residence on March 2, according to Sheriff Terry Risner.
“The investigation was due to a complaint received from the Department of Family Services in regards to an injury to an infant at said residence,” Risner said in a news release.
During the search, deputies found at least eight items associated with drug use, some of which contained traces of cocaine, methamphetamine and a mixture of heroin and fentanyl.
The next day, on March 3, deputies arrested Dannae and Michael Zylstra during a traffic stop.
Risner would not elaborate on the injuries to the child. Indiana child-protection officials did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday night.
The married couple faces felony charges of neglect of a dependent, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a methamphetamine and possession of cocaine or narcotic drug and a misdemeanor charge of possession of paraphernalia.
Michael Zylstra remains in the Jasper County Jail in lieu of $12,000 bail, according to officials. Dannae Zylstra has bonded out, Risner said.
“The neglect charges come from having the child in proximity to the narcotics,” Risner said. “The investigation is ongoing, and one of our top priorities, obviously.”