Shaken baby hospitalized, father arrested

A Medford baby is recovering from head injuries at a Portland hospital and her father is in Jackson County Jail under suspicion of causing her injuries by shaking.

Medford police arrested Luis Enrique Isordia-Benavides, 18, Sunday on charges of third-degree assault and first-degree criminal mischief after hospital staff notified police about a baby girl with suspicious injuries, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

Medical staff at Rogue Valley Medical Center called police at about 7:40 a.m. Sunday to report that they were treating a 20-day-old girl with bleeding on the brain from what they believed was "non-accidental head trauma," Doney said.

The injuries were consistent with the baby being shaken several times in her short life, Doney said. She was flown to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland for treatment, and a hospital spokeswoman said she was in good condition Monday afternoon.

A detective interviewed the child's parents, who are both 18. After the investigation, Isordia-Benavides was arrested and lodged in the county jail. He also is suspected of being in the country illegally and is being held without bail.

Preventing child abuse and neglect such as this is a goal of Medford's Family Nurturing Center, a relief nursery that opened last year, the center's director Mary-Curtis Gramley said.

But connecting young families that might need help with the array of services the center offers is a challenge, she said.

Social service agencies and hospitals refer many struggling families to the center, but sometimes those professionals don't see all the risks a family might face, Gramley said. Relatives, friends and neighbors can also steer families toward the center, and, ultimately, Gramley wants stressed-out parents to know that they can call the center at 779-5242 for help.

The center offers parenting support groups, respite child care for enrolled families, home evaluations and therapeutic experiences for children from birth to age 5 who have experienced neglect, violence and other trauma. Care coordinators also help link families to other services, such as food pantries, medical care or drug and alcohol treatment programs.

The center has materials available in English and Spanish and plans to hire a bilingual care coordinator, she said.

Gramley said anyone can call to learn more about the services or ask child development questions.

"Our agency is here to help families and we try to respond in ways that are truly meaningful to each family," she said.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail

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