Police searching for adults accused of abusing 4-month-old, fleeing the state

Authorities are seeking to charge Brandon Augustine and Mildred Chestnut with felony child abuse.
Police said the child’s injuries were “life-altering” and not consistent with those sustained in a minor crash.
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 3:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police are searching for two adults who took their 4-month-old son to a Charlotte hospital, left while the baby was still receiving care, and have since fled the state.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), 24-year-old Brandon Augustine and 23-year-old Mildred Chestnut brought the child to the hospital on March 20, claiming that he was injured in a minor car crash.

Police said the child’s injuries were “life-altering” and not consistent with those sustained in a minor crash.

On March 21, warrants were signed for the arrests of the two adults.

Before they could be served though, officials said Augustine and Chestnut had left the hospital, leaving the child behind on their own accord, and fled North Carolina.

The car they are believed to have driven was later found “intentionally hidden” in Austell, Georgia.

“It’s time, it’s time to do right by your child,” CMPD Major Luke Sell said during a media briefing. “Any parent, I know that those parents have to be having second thoughts about running, about not coming and seeing that child. We’re all human. We’re just asking that they come do the right thing, turn themselves in.”

Family members had filed missing persons reports for Augustine and Chestnut.

Augustine’s mother Dianna told WBTV she was in shock after she learned of the charges her son and his fiancé will be facing.

Police are seeking to charge both adults with felony intentional child abuse causing serious physical injury.

Investigators also said that anyone found to be helping Augustine and Chestnut could be charged. They said they have reason to believe people are helping them with rides, money and shelter.

Related: Man arrested, charged in Caldwell County child abuse investigation

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