OREM, Utah, Sept. 26, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An Orem man was booked into the Utah County Jail on suspicion of felony child abuse after doctors found evidence that a 3-year-old foster child in his care had been choked.
Austin Blair Andreason, 39, was booked on suspicion of child abuse, infliction of serious physical injury intentionally, a second-degree felony. His bail was set at $10,010.
A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office says he was informed on Sept. 17 by the Division of Child and Family Services that the 3-year-old was placed with foster parents on Sept. 15, and “within 24 hrs they were contacted by the foster parents telling them she could not stay with them. One of the foster parents, Austin Andreason, stated she was kicking their dog and they did not want her there.”
DCFS workers stated Austin drove the child up to Heber to return her to the agency, the statement says.
“DCFS workers stated the foster parent yelled at her (the toddler) and had choked her while pointing to her neck. The DCFS workers noticed redness around her neck and several dots of petechia in her eyes.”
The workers took the 3-year-old to be seen by a doctor.
“In the physical exam they stated Assessment: The child has concerning marks consistent which choking/strangulation that are around her entire neck as well as petechia around bilateral eyes and subconjunctival hemorrhages in her right eye,” the probable cause statement says.
The child was interviewed two days later.
“During the interview, the child stated ‘a boy choked me on the neck,’ she stated he pushed her and she hit her head on the ground and her nose started bleeding,” the probable cause statement says. “The child stated the boy choked her twice. When shown a picture of the ‘boy,’ she pointed to Austin Andreason.”
Asked about a second male, the child said he did not hurt her. She stated it happened “in the house,” the statement says.
Officers interviewed Andreason on Monday, Sept. 21. Post Miranda, “Austin stated he remembers the child, but denied doing anything to the child.
“After advising him of the findings from the doctor and the evidence they had of choking/strangulation Austin was transported to the Utah County Jail.”