UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – An Orem man is facing felony child abuse after police, doctors, and DCFS workers said they believe he choked a 3-year-old girl who had only been in his care for only 24 hours.
According to a police report, officers were notified on Sept 17 by the Department of Child and Family Services of a 3-year-old girl who was put into a foster home on Sept 15. Within 24 hrs DCFS was contacted by the foster parents telling them she could not stay with them.
One of the foster parents, Austin Andreason, stated she was kicking their dog and they did not want her there. Andreason drove the child up to Heber to return her to DCFS.
The worker said the girl kept pointing to her neck and workers noticed redness around her neck and several dots of petechia in her eyes so they took her to Safe and Healthy Families to be seen by a Doctor.
Doctors informed them the child had concerning marks consistent which choking/strangulation around her entire neck as well as petechia around bilateral eyes and subconjunctival hemorrhages in her right eye.
DCFS workers and a deputy went to the Children’s Justice Center in Heber to interview the child. During the interview, the girl stated a boy “choked me on the neck,” and pushed her. She said she hit her head on the ground and her nose started bleeding. The child stated the boy choked her twice, according to documents.
When shown a picture of the “boy” she pointed to Andreason.
On Sunday, Deputies responded to the residence to talk to Andreason but he denied ever harming the girl. Based on the medical report, and the interview with the child, Andreason was transported to the Utah County Jail.
Anreason was charged on Sept 23 with one second-degree felony count of child abuse. A background check on him shows no criminal history in Utah.