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DOCS: New Castle mother, man charged after toddler seen covered ‘head to toe in bruises’

NEW CASTLE, Ind. — “Where are your burns? Where are your bruises from protecting that baby?” questioned a caregiver after she was granted custody of a toddler whose visible bruises and injuries caused a concerned stranger to call police when seeing the child out in public, court documents state.

Kailyn Marks, 20, and Darnel Fox, 27, were both charged in connection to the child’s abuse.

Police were called to a restaurant in New Castle on July 16, 2022 to inquire on the injuries seen on a nearly 2-year-old (1 year and 11 months) boy. Both a family member of Marks and another concerned patron called officers after the toddler was seen “covered head to toe in bruises and bleeding in his eyes,” according to court documents.

A responding detective detailed some of the injuries seen on just the child’s face and head: “large bruise on the left side of his cheek, large bruise on the left jaw line, large bruise on the right side of his cheek, smaller bruising around the mouth, right eye and eye socket was swollen and bruised, the right eye had blood in it, both cheeks were swollen around the mouth, bruising in the center of the face between the eyes, bruising and broken skin and scratches around the front of the neck and down onto the chest, bruising under the chin, bruise by the left ear.”

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Court documents also state injuries all over the child’s body, including what looked to be burn marks from a cigarette or drug pipe on the boy’s stomach and bruising and cuts on the boy’s genitals.

“The injuries look as if [a] hand grabbed and possibly twisted the genitals, and there were also cuts on the genitals.”

Probable cause affidavit

Further tests at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis revealed the child also had a broken wrist and a “substantial brain bleed.”

Kailyn Marks, the boy’s mother, told police she and the child had been living with her boyfriend at the time, Darnel Fox, at his relative’s house for the past month.

She reportedly told investigators Fox “regularly uses” meth and would stay up all night, so he would watch the child if he got up during the night while she slept.

When she noticed bruises or marks on the boy and asked Fox about them, he would say the boy fell off the couch, charging documents allege.

At least twice in the week before police were called, Marks claimed she heard the boy screaming while he was alone with Fox. She then said Fox prevented her from going into the room and told her the boy was “just fighting sleep,” while also telling her she needed to stop “babying” him.

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Fox also stopped Marks from changing the child’s diaper or giving him baths, she told police.

When investigators asked why she did not attempt to remove herself and the child from the situation earlier, Marks told them Fox would prevent her from leaving. She also claimed she did not have a cell phone.

Marks claimed Fox was not physically violent to her but had threatened to strike her. One of Marks’ loved ones told police she believed the only reason Fox did not hit Marks was due to the fact she was pregnant.

Investigators also spoke to several more of Marks’ family members. One relative said Marks had been visited by the Department of Child Services before because the child was “not being cared for the right way.” Another said she had seen occasional bruising on the child, but when she saw the boy at the restaurant on July 16, the injuries were a “20” out of a scale from one to 10. “What did that baby go through?” she tearfully asked police, court documents state.

Police also spoke to a woman who had gained custody of the child after he was turned over to the DCS. She claimed the boy had so “much trauma” and “fear in his eyes.”

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“She stated when you clean his bottom he is okay, but it is awful when you are near or have to
clean his genitals and penis area,” court documents read.

The woman said she had talked to Marks about the child’s injuries and based on their conversations, she believed Marks knew about the abuse but “didn’t do anything about it.”

“Where are your burns? Where are your bruises from protecting that baby?” the woman said in her interview with police.

Trisha McFalls booking photo

Marks was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury. Fox was charged with battery with serious bodily injury to person under 14 and neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury.

Another woman, Trisha McFalls, was charged in connection to the investigation. Police arrested Fox on March 9, 2023. They received a tip he had been staying at McFalls’ apartment, and when police arrived with an arrest warrant, he would not come out of the apartment initially. He exited on his own after police came back with a search warrant.

McFalls was charged with assisting a criminal, a level 5 felony.

As reported by Fox 59