Jonathan Colby, a 22-year-old resident of Allegan County, has been charged with first-degree child abuse for allegedly causing his infant son’s death. But as it turns out, the tragic circumstances in this case go far beyond a single instance of abuse.
At about 1:30 in the morning of December 3rd, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a mobile home when they received word that a baby had been found unresponsive in his crib. But what they discovered upon arrival was enough to break hearts: a 3-month-old baby, lying in a tangle of cockroach infested blankets, his little body burning with fever, in a home rife with bugs, dog feces, and filth.
The baby was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His one-year-old brother, also living in the deplorable conditions in the trailer, was removed by CPS, who has had dealings with this family in the past. And what were the parents doing? Colby and Gloria Mooney were getting high.
According to police interviews conducted with Colby after his arrest, he admitted to hitting, slapping, and choking the baby on a number of occasions. Why? Exhaustion and frustration, he said.
The medical examiner’s report details the infant injuries, saying that the little boy had a cracked skull and a number of injuries that were consistent with strangulation and suffocation.
An abuse/neglect petition has been filed by the Department of Human Services, in which a CPS investigator has described the state of the home in which the children were living. Apparently marijuana was left out where children could access it, and there was almost no food in the home.
Additionally, cockroaches were found in large quantities throughout the home, and the couple had apparently been notified by the trailer park that E Coli had been found in their water supply. However, neither had made any effort to move their children to another location or even bring clean water into the home.
According to CPS, the family had been under investigation before. At the time they had been told that both could not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the same time, but rather, one of them had to be sober at all times in order to ensure that there was a sober caretaker available to the children.
Colby will be returning to court on December 16th for another hearing. Under Michigan law, first degree child abuse is punishable by up to life in prison.