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A Park Hills couple has been charged with abuse of their infant child, stemming from a visit to the Cardinal Glennon Hospital Emergency Room.

According to court documents obtained from the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Derick Boyce-Slezak, 22, of Park Hills, and Mikala Boyce-Slezak, also 22, of Park Hills, are each charged with felony abuse or neglect of a child.

The probable cause statement says that during a Nov. 27 hearing an investigator with the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was present for testimony from Mikala Boyce-Slezak relating to her child’s injuries.

The investigator reported that on April 11 of this year an infant, who was less than four months old at the time, was taken to Cardinal-Glennon Hospital Emergency Room for a rash on his face. The “rash” was determined to be a wound.

The periphery of the wound was determined to be a first-degree burn, with the majority of the wound being a second-degree burn. A superficial second-degree burn was also visible on the front of the infant’s scalp.

A C.T. scan showed the infant was also suffering from a "vertical left parietal fracture" of the skull and a small left subdural hematoma. At the hospital, Derick and Mikala Boyce-Slezak claimed the burns were caused by a cleaning agent.

During testimony, Mikala claimed that someone had cleaned the infant’s face with a towel that contained a bleach-type disinfectant. When asked about the head injuries and bruising, she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights.

Derick did not testify.

Then an individual with the Children’s Division testified that Mikala had previously stated she intended to testify that the head wounds were a result of Derick dropping the infant while trying to imitate what he saw on a television commercial.

The Children’s Division employee also stated in the proceedings that Mikala had claimed she had reason to believe Derick had placed the infant in a microwave and turned it on for a “short period of time.”

Additional testimony revealed the infant had yet another fracture that was later discovered.

Derick and Mikala Boyce-Slezak are both being held in the St. Francois County Jail, each on $500,000 bond.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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