RIGBY, Idaho, Oct. 7, 2021 (East Idaho News/Gephardt Daily) — A Rigby man is behind bars after a three-month-old infant was seriously injured and flown to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, according to EastIdahoNews.com.
Rigby Police and EMTs were called around 5 p.m. Monday to the home of Dillon H. Butikofer, 20. A probable cause statement said that when they arrived, emergency responders found an unresponsive baby and began performing CPR. The baby was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center by ambulance.
EIRMC doctors told police the baby had bleeding on the brain, a fractured clavicle in the process of healing, and a previous brain injury that looked to be in the process of healing. Medical staff said the injuries were consistent with child abuse, the statement said.
The baby was rushed to Primary Children’s Hospital by air ambulance. Medical personnel confirmed the injuries were severe and could possibly lead to death. They also indicated the injuries were consistent with the infant being shaken or slammed into something.
During the investigation, authorities learned this wasn’t the first time abuse of the child was suspected. Police note in the statement they were called alongside Child Protective Services about a month prior to Monday’s incident.
Investigators spoke with the child’s mother, who said bruises on the baby were caused by a dog and the clavicle fracture could also have been caused by the animal, according to the statement. It’s not clear if CPS took any action.
The mother told police that on Monday she was at work when Butikofer called, saying the baby was not breathing. She said she left work, called 911 then arrived at the home to give the child to first responders.
The mother told the police that Butikofer does not get upset with the child, the statement said. She also said Butikofer told her he dropped the child.
EastIdahoNews.com did not identify the mother in this case, as she is not facing any charges.
Police spoke with Butikofer, who said after the mother left for work, the baby had fallen off his lap and landed on the floor. He said once falling, the baby cried but eventually stopped breathing, prompting him to call the mother.
“I told Dillon that his story was not making sense and the injuries (the baby) had would not be caused by the fall off his lap he described,” an officer wrote in the statement. “He continued to deny any wrongdoing.”
Eventually, officers asked Butikofer if he had gotten upset and shook the baby. Butikofer responded, saying he may have held the baby and shook him a few times, according to the statement. He also described he might have set the baby down on changing table, causing him to hit his head earlier that day.
Butikofer then described a few weeks earlier he picked up and squeezed the child as well as shook him, according to court documents.
Police then arrested Butikofer and he was charged with two felony counts of injury to a child. Butikofer made an initial court appearance Wednesday where Magistrate Judge Robert Crowley set bail at $50,000.
The child’s condition Thursday morning was not immediately available.
If convicted of each felony count of injury to a child, Butikofer could be sentenced up to 20 years in prison.
A preliminary hearing for Butikofer is scheduled for Oct. 14.