Baby Abused, Father in Jail

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A 13-month-old baby girl was burned, beaten and possibly poisoned. Her father, who has a history of child neglect, is in jail for the abuse.

Juvenile authorities held a custody hearing Friday after the arrest of Carl Drew Smith. Smith is charged with aggravated child abuse. He and his wife Carlene were already on probation for the neglect of their two young sons.

The courts took the boys from the Smiths a year and a half ago because of neglect. The state also took the baby girl from the couple shortly after she was born a little more than a year ago because of the couple’s previous history.

But the Smiths took the state to court in September and regained custody of the little girl.

When police began investigating this latest case, Smith told them he blacked out and may have hurt the baby. He allegedly poured hot noodles on the child, burning her face and feet. She also has numerous bruises.

Cedar Grove Police Chief Guy Turcotte is a hardened, veteran cop, and still this case got to him:

Guy Turcotte said, "I can't think of anything that would make you want to hurt a small child, hurt anybody like this child was hurt. The affect, that she was abused. I have no clue why somebody would want to do that."

Published reports say this is the fourth time the smiths have been in trouble for abuse. There's some good news for the little girl though. The court ordered her to be turned over to the same couple who already has custody of her older brothers.