Nakia Brice, a 34-year-old mom of three in Whetstone, Arizona, found herself under arrest Wednesday afternoon after she took her 9-year-old son into the emergency room to be treated for head injuries that the mom said took place when the little boy, who suffers from the severe developmental disability known as Down syndrome, fell out of a tree.
The boy was placed in the intensive car unit at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona. But workers with the Arizona Department if Child Services felt that something didn’t add up about Brice’s story, so they started asking her questions.
Suspicions were also raised when doctors found that the little boy had not only experienced severe head injuries, but also displayed several injuries in various stages of healing — injuries that had clearly been somehow inflicted at various earlier points in time.
Those other injuries included fractures to both the boy’s spine and his ribs.
According to a report in the Tucson Sentinel, Brice adopted the boy from an orphanage in Ukraine three years ago. The newspaper reported gathering that information from Brice’s social media accounts.
Brice, who has two other children ages two and eight, on her Facebook page also shows what appears to be a strong interest in issues affecting children. She includes a link to National Attachment Trauma Awareness Day, a disorder which the group’s page describes as “a serious disruption of a child’s ability to form strong and healthy bonds with care providers.”
Brice also posted a “meme” photo with text reading, “Brain Facts: Violent Homes Have The Same Effect Oh Children’s Brains As Combat On Soldiers.”
Another post about wheelchair parks where disabled children can play safely is accompanied by Brice’s own comment, “would love to see these in every town.”
The posts appear inconsistent with the story that Brice eventually told investigators about her son’s injuries — when she confessed that she struck the boy with a baseball bat.
“She struck the boy multiple times with the bat in the head and body,” said Cochise County Sheriff’s Spokesperson Carol Capas.
But Brice said that she hit the boy with the bat — a weapon investigators later found when they served a search warrant on her home — because she “lost control defending herself” when the boy was acting out, screaming, kicking, scratching, and biting her.
Brice admitted to detectives that she hit the 9-year-old repeatedly on the head and body with the baseball bat. The boy himself cannot speak to investigators due both to his Down syndrome and his head injuries.
Detectives are still investigating the case. At a court appearance Thursday, Nakia Brice was ordered held on $200,000 bond.
[Image: Cochise County Sheriff’s Department]