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Allen County Sheriff's Department
Marquisha N. Whitten

Mom charged in frostbite case

Neglect alleged in 5-year-old's exposure injuries

A 5-year-old boy left to lie in the snow as the wind chill dipped to 30 below zero Monday night may lose the use of some of his toes and fingers due to frostbite.

And it might be his mother's fault, police say.

Marquisha N. Whitten, 25, has been preliminarily charged with a felony count of neglect of a dependent in connection with her son's injuries.

Allen Superior Court documents lay out what investigators believe led to her son's injuries.

Whitten had been drinking at an undisclosed home beginning about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

She and her son then began walking home to the Eden Green Apartments complex in the 1300 block of Greene Street about 11:15 p.m.

Somewhere along the way, Whitten lost her keys, according to the court documents, and began looking around outside for them.

While this happened, her son fell down and could not get back up because of the depth of the snow.

He was in the snow for about 10 minutes, according to court documents.

A woman who was expecting Whitten and her son began looking for them when they did not show up at the apartment and found them outside.

The boy was taken inside and found to have frostbite on his hands and feet.

An ambulance was called for both the boy and Whitten, who also suffered frostbite to her fingers, according to court documents.

Whitten was also legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent.

She has since been given a "no-contact order" barring her from seeing her son, according to court records, and is being held in Allen County Jail on $10,000 bail.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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