Parents of 8-month-old girl jailed on abuse charges

A baby girl, state troopers say was born addicted to drugs, is in the hospital and her parents are in jail; charged with covering their 8-month-old’s face in bruises.

One state trooper described it as the most disheartening case of child abuse he’s ever seen.

Those troopers were actually called to the house on 8 Mile Hollow near Campbell’s Creek in eastern Kanawha County after a fight between the parents turned violent and one was injured. However, troopers say, it was the injuries they discovered on Chase Searls’ and Nikki Norman’s baby that made troopers pull out the handcuffs.

State troopers say she had bruises all over her face; many of them fresh, some weeks old.

According to a criminal complaint, Norman told troopers that Searls would regularly whip their baby’s head with a wet towel to get her to stop crying.

“I don’t understand this…why he was physically abusive to his children,” next door neighbor Anita Blount said. “They need to be taken away, I’m sorry.”

Norman also said Searls had recently left their baby unattended on top of a laundry drier and that she had fallen on her face.

Thursday, the infant was taken to CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital, while her father was taken to jail on child abuse charges.

The baby’s mother is also charged with child abuse.

Troopers say she chose not to report the injuries or seek medical help, fearing that Child Protective Services would intervene. Troopers CPS is involved now.

Troopers say, when they found the couple’s baby, she was living in the laundry room, all while other bedrooms in the house were available.