HIGHLAND – The longtime girlfriend of a Highland man who was arrested for the abuse of his nephew on Friday says the investigation was negligent. Gloria Cuarenta told a 24/7 Headline News reporter on Tuesday, that she and Jermaul Baldridge together have made reports regarding the ongoing neglect and abuse of the 2-year-old child. Both reports, according to Cuarenta and Baldridge’s sister, Leslie went uninvestigated.
Cuarenta said that she and Baldridge cared for the child, who they both consider their nephew, on many occasions. On the day he was taken to the hospital the small boy was under the care of Cuarenta, her sister,
and Baldridge. The couple noticed swelling to the right side of the toddler’s face causing them to rush him to the hospital.
Cuarenta said that the child had been in their care for around a week at the time of this incident. When picked up from his mother’s home a week prior to the incident, she did notice a bruise on his stomach but said he did not have a bruise on his eye and it was not swollen shut, as stated in the official press release.
After the medical examination and investigation the detectives questioned everyone, including the couple’s 5-year-old daughter, Cuarenta said. “Miguel [the child] was in our care all day, all three of us, but my sister and I were not interrogated the same way Jermaul was.” After the interview, Baldridge was subsequently arrested for child endangerment causing great bodily injury. His children and his nephew were all placed under protective custody. “They told Jermaul, “someone has to be charged for this, so if you say you did it we will not investigate Gloria and we will give her the children back”,” said Jermaul’s sister, Leslie Baldridge.
“Our children have never been in protective custody before this, we have always taken care of them on top of taking care of other children,” said Cuarenta. Cuarenta said she is not allowed to visit their children or take prescription glasses to one of the children. She said she has a court hearing tomorrow to see what the steps will be to regain custody of their children.
Baldridge said that her five-year-old daughter told her that their nephew had fallen from the rock climbing wall while playing at their apartments the day before he was taken to the hospital. She is uncertain of any other way he could have sustained the injuries that he did. She said that Baldridge would never hurt any of the children, “We have aided in raising those boys, we would never ever hurt them. We wanted to provide them with the same love, attention, and care that we provide for our own children.”
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