MOORE TWP., Pa. | Authorities allege a Slate Belt woman fractured her infant’s skull and tried to convince investigators the child sustained the injuries falling out of a bassinet.
Moore Township police charged Amanda L. Suranofsky with aggravated assault and child endangerment following an investigation into the injuries suffered by her nearly 8-week-old child. District Judge Douglas Schlegel arraigned the 31-year-old mother of five Wednesday morning, setting bail at $50,000 with a 10 percent cash option.
A Moore Township police detective was notified on Dec. 17 about a near fatality that occurred three days earlier at Suranofsky’s South Summit Road home.
Suranofsky told investigators that she was home alone with the children and was sleeping on the living room couch, when she was awoken about 5:30 a.m. by a “thud,” according to court records.
Suranofsky said she found the infant on the floor crying and her 2-year-old sitting in the bassinet, according to records. She told investigators that she believed the 2-year-old removed the infant’s onesie and diaper, causing the baby to fall to the floor.
Investigators allege Suranofsky, however, told responding paramedics that morning that she heard fussing and crying and returned to the room to find the baby on the floor.
Police said the child’s father and Suranofsky’s boyfriend had been in prison on work release and had not been at the house.
Yanio Castillo pleaded no contest last year to aggravated assault for breaking the arm of his then 2-year-old daughter. Northampton County District Attorney Laura Majewski said Castillo is the father of the infant victim and Suranofsky's boyfriend.
He was sentenced to 11 to 23 months in county jail. He is the father of three of the children, according to the prosecutor.
The doctor who examined the child after the fall said x-rays of the infant showed “L-shaped” and “Y-shaped” skull fractures and that an MRI showed bleeding all around the brain. The doctor reported that two veins had been sheared and characterized the injuries as “an abusive head trauma injury” that would only be seen in car wrecks and cases of shaken babies, according to investigators.
The infant’s injuries were not consistent with a short, accidental fall, according to the doctor.
Investigators said Suranofsky reported being “stressed out” and having money problems. She reported having PTSD and postpartum depression. Suranofsky told authorities that she was receiving counseling for PTSD but hadn’t received any counseling for postpartum depression after her last pregnancy.
Police said an examination of her cell phone turned up messages showing Suranofsky was frustrated, having money problems and was stressed out by the kids. Some messages questioned how she was going to feed the children, while her boyfriend “gets three meals a day,” according to records. Police said other messages showed Suranofsky was “getting out of hand buying pills” and felt that she was labeled an addict, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators said a second doctor interviewed the other children, who allegedly made statements such as “mommy is very bad” and “mommy spanks me on my butt.” One child reported being afraid of Suranofsky. Police said the other children range in age from 8 to 2.
Authorities charged Suranofsky with three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of child endangerment, all felonies. She also faces single misdemeanor counts of simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Suranofsky failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing. As a condition of bail, Suranofsky is prohibited from having contact with the victim or any minors.