Charges were also filed against the child's mother, Gina Salazar. She's charged with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering prosecution of a felon. Newton County Sheriff, Ken Copeland, tells us Salazar gave deputies false information in order to help Sykes escape.
Deputies responded to a call at 9:00 last night at Bykota Mobile Homes in Joplin. Upon arrival, they found a toddler not breathing. Medical workers were able to revive the girl, but investigators believe the injuries were not caused by accident. Bryant Sykes, 24, was taken into custody around 10:30 this morning, after an overnight man hunt by the Newton County Sheriff's Office. He's suspected of seriously injuring his live in girlfriend's baby and is being held on an outstanding warrant from Arkansas, involving another incident of child abuse.
Sykes' girlfriend told authorities she went to the store for 15 minutes, leaving her daughter alone with her boyfriend. Upon returning, she found the baby was not breathing, and Sykes claimed the 1 year old had fallen off the kitchen table. She was immediately taken to Freeman Health System, and from there flown by medical helicopter to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
"The child is still alive at this time. It is in very critical condition. Doctors advise us that it is suffering from the head and bleeding internally,"states Ken Copeland, Newton County Sheriff.
Deputies took two other children from the home into protective custody. These children also belong to Sykes girlfriend. Copeland says doctors at Children's Mercy Hospital fear the child will not survive. Investigators do not believe a fall would account for the seriousness of the baby's injuries.