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Burlington father and mother arrested after 5-week-old suffers multiple fractures

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Police in Burlington have arrested a mother and father after authorities said a 5-week-old infant suffered multiple fractures.

Jeffrey Morales, 34, of Burlington, has been jailed under a $250,000 secured bond on charges of felony child abuse and felony child neglect.

The infant victim’s mother, 34-year-old Heather Derendal, also faces charges of felony child abuse and felony child neglect. She was taken into custody Wednesday.

Derendal appeared in Alamance County Court Thursday, shaking her head as prosecutors read her charges. She asked that the judge reduce her bond and was told she would need to make that request through a court appointed attorney.

Burlington officers and the Alamance County Department of Social Services launched a physical abuse investigation into the child’s injuries on Dec. 3.

“It is a lengthy process we have to go through and work with the Department of Social Services, and other agencies and other health care providers and so forth, to try and determine what happened,” Capt. Bret Currie said.

Police said the infant was taken to a local pediatrician and then the hospital. The infant is now recovering and under the care of the Department of Social Services.

Currie urged people to report suspected cases of abuse to police of the DSS as soon as possible.

“To see if something strange is going on with them, their behavior is different, if you touch them and they’re complaining of pain, especially those who can’t speak,” he said. “Because if you don’t, there could be something seriously wrong and if it goes unnoticed and untreated, it could have severe consequences.”

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