‘Trusted caregiver’ behind bars after allegedly causing ‘brain bleed’ in 2-year-old boy


A woman is behind bars for allegedly abusing a child so badly that part of his skull needed to be removed.

Police in Lakewood, Colorado, announced on social media Thursday that they were searching for McKinley Slone Hernandez, 25, and asking the public for help tracking her down. Stefanie Reichert says that Hernandez caused injuries so severe to her 2-year-old son Giovanni in September that he still needs surgery.

“Hernandez has an active felony warrant for child abuse – cruelty toward child – with a $100,000 bond,” the Lakewood Police Department posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.

Hours later, Lakewood police said that Hernandez was “taken into custody tonight by LPD Agents without incident.”

“You never would think it would happen to you, especially by someone who you consider a friend,” Reichert told Denver NBC affiliate KUSA.

Reichert told the station that Giovanni had to have part of his skull removed because of bleeding on the brain and that after initially spending weeks in the hospital, the boy had to have yet another surgery.

Reichert said she anticipates a long road to recovery and that her son shows signs of ongoing trauma.

“He doesn’t like strangers,” she told KUSA. “Now he doesn’t like the nurses and the doctors. He doesn’t let anybody touch him. We have to do everything for them in there.”

Family members started a GoFundMe to fund Giovanni’s medical costs and recovery.

“Giovanni was life flighted to the children’s hospital after being harmed by the hands of a trusted caregiver,” the fundraiser said when it was initially launched in September. “He is suffering from a brain bleed requiring emergency surgery.”

“At this time, doctors are unsure what his recovery will look like,” the initial post also said.

Reichert provided an update on the boy’s condition on Friday.

“We had a rough Thanksgiving this year to say the least!” Reichart wrote, adding that the boy had surgery on Thursday and is still suffering from a fever, pain and discomfort. “He’s pretty swollen and his right eye is swollen shut. He slept most of the day and I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow.”

However, Reichert celebrated the news of Hernandez’s impending arrest.

“We ended Thanksgiving with the best thing possible, A WARRENT (sic) ISSUED FOR THE SUSPECT,” the boy’s mother wrote. “She is wanted on a $100,000 bond for felony child abuse.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the bond amount.

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