As a mother went to pull the covers up over her sleeping daughter, she noticed something strange about the side of her child’s head. The girl had been out late the night before with her mom’s boyfriend, so the mother looked at her man in horror, demanding to know what happened in her absence. Unfortunately, she would learn that it was far worse than she thought.
According to The Indy Star, Noel Maxwell allowed her boyfriend, Andrew J. Milburn, to take her 3-year-old daughter, who is not his biological daughter, to a party that he said was at his parent’s house in the next town over. Noel stayed behind to get some sleep, and she was reportedly still asleep when Andrew and her little girl returned home that night.
When the mother woke the next morning and found that her daughter was still fast asleep, she decided to go check on her. When she brushed the girl’s delicate blonde locks off of her sweet face, she felt a massive swelling on the side of her head that definitely was not there the night before. It was so large that it was protruding from her skull, visible without having to touch to find it.
Noel confronted Andrew, demanding to know what happened to her daughter’s head, which he excused as a guess that maybe she fell from a chair while at his parent’s house. The mother rushed the little girl to the hospital, where she soon found out the horrific truth that this was no accident — Andrew had scalped her child.
Doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Frankfort, Indiana, near the family’s home, said that the extensive swelling was caused by extremely rough pulling on the child’s hair, forcibly removing the child’s scalp from her skull. This trauma results in severe bruising, internal bleeding, and swelling.
Police say Noel Maxwell, the child’s mother and suspect’s girlfriend, discovered swelling on the side of the child’s head on Feb. 23 and took the 3-year-old girl to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Frankfort. The child was later transported to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, according to Fox59.
Child Protective Services notified the Howard County Sheriff’s Department of the incident. The suspect, Andrew J. Milburn, was present at the hospital.
According to police, Maxwell said she was asleep the night of Feb. 23 when Milburn and the girl returned from visiting Milburn’s parents in Russiaville. When Maxwell went to check on the child after waking up, she found extensive swelling on the side of the girl’s head. Milburn told his girlfriend the girl must have fallen from a chair at his parents’ home.
For unspecified reasons, Andrew became abusive to the girl at his parent’s party. Police determined, through their investigation, that this included the girl being struck multiple times on her head before being dragged around or pulled by her hair. The abusive boyfriend was arrested on Tuesday and charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years of age. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.