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Parents of infant with ‘life-altering injuries’ abandoned at hospital in custody after months on the run


Brandon Augustine and Mildred Chestnut (via Mecklenburg (N.C.) County Sheriff’s Office). Inset: Augustine and Chestnut (Charlotte-Mecklenburg (N.C.) Police Department).

The parents accused of leaving their injured infant at a North Carolina hospital before fleeing are finally in custody after a monthslong search.

Brandon Augustine, 24, and Mildred Chestnut, 23, allegedly abandoned their 4-month-old baby at a hospital in Charlotte in March. As Law&Crime previously reported, the couple reportedly said at the time that the child had suffered injuries from a minor car crash.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department announced the arrests late Thursday but did not provide additional details.

“CMPD’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) made two arrests tonight in the alleged child abuse case from March 20,” the department announced on Twitter. “They are being charged with Felony Child Abuse Inflicting Serious Injury after an incident with their 4-month-old baby.”

According to police, the child was suffering from “severe and life-altering injuries” when he was abandoned at the hospital. Detectives determined that the injuries were “not consistent” with a minor car crash.

Family members reported Chestnut and Augustine missing around March 21, when the police investigation began. They had apparently been on the run ever since and may have crossed state lines.

“A vehicle belonging to them was found in Austell, Georgia, on March 21 after it was intentionally abandoned and hidden,” the CMPD had said. “Detectives believe that the couple has been receiving assistance including money, shelter, and rides.”

Records from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office show that both Augustine and Chestnut are in custody.

Law&Crime’s Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.

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