Starved, injured infant taken from couple

by: Lee Stoll Updated:

Loading

EVERETT, Wash. - A starved and injured infant whose appearance horrified doctors is in the hospital, but no one is in jail.

Everett police are questioning the girl's parents, who claim the injured herself.

According to court papers, staff at Children's Hospital alerted Everett police about possible child abuse and neglect when the couple brought their month-old daughter to the ER in September.

The baby's nose was rubbed raw. She was missing part of her right ear, which was also covered in scabs.

A doctor described the emaciated child as "the scariest looking baby I've ever seen."

"We take allegations of crimes against children very seriously. At this point in the investigation, we're still gathering information," said Everett police officer Aaron Snell.

The infant weighed just five pounds, although she was six pounds at birth.

She sucked down bottles so fast, staff said, "she looked like a hungry fish in the water."

Officers questioned her parents, Alexandra Dahl, 22, and Erich Zink, 28.

Zink has a history of drugs and domestic abuse. He was arrested for allegedly pushing Dahl down while she was pregnant.

Dahl said the baby was a "lazy eater" and the child's face was raw and bloody because the girl rubbed it against her crib.

"In cases with children it is difficult. In most cases, it's because the child can't answer for themselves," said Snell.

Officers said Zink grew tired of his crying daughter and was overheard saying, "Make it stop," and, "Oh, she's just faking it."

Dahl said she fed the child every few hours and thought her scabs were healing—even after part of the child's ear turned black and fell off.

Officers said the child's ear may have been squeezed with pacifier clips.

No one has been arrested. Police said they are continuing to investigate.

 

Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.