2 charged in connection to child abuse investigation in Mississi - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

2 charged in connection to child abuse investigation in Mississippi Co., MO

Joshua Dephonte Johnson (Source: Mississippi Co. Sheriff's Office) Joshua Dephonte Johnson (Source: Mississippi Co. Sheriff's Office)
Destiny Elizabeth Patrick (Source: Mississippi Co. Sheriff's Office) Destiny Elizabeth Patrick (Source: Mississippi Co. Sheriff's Office)
MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Two Mississippi County, Missouri residents are facing felony charges after in investigation into allegations of child abuse.

Joshua Dephonte Johnson, 22, of Wisconsin, was charged with two counts of child abuse in the first degree and endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree.

Destiny Elizabeth Patrick, 18, of East Prairie, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the first degree and failure of a mandated reporter to report child abuse/neglect.

According to Mississippi County Sheriff Cory Hutcheson, the mandated reporter charge comes from a violation of Patrick's legal duty as a certified nurse assistant to report suspected child abuse.

Sheriff Hutcheson said the investigation began on Sunday morning when the sheriff's office received a report of child abuse alleged to have taken place at a home in rural Mississippi County.

He said Sergeant Ryan Hill discussed the report with a caseworker from the Missouri Children's Division and identified the suspect as Wisconsin-native Joshua Johnson, who was found a short time later and arrested.

Sheriff Hutcheson said they found probable cause to believe Johnson allegedly slammed the infant's head into the side of a bed on the first night; and on the other two nights, had allegedly hit the infant repeatedly with a blunt object.

Despite allegedly noticing new and progressively worse injuries to the infant each night she left the baby with Johnson, authorities say Patrick failed to report the abuse or get medical attention.

Instead, she allegedly continued to leave her one-year-old daughter with Johnson nightly until the alleged abuse was discovered by the baby's father.

Destiny Patrick was released on Monday afternoon, February 13 after posting a $75,000 surety bond.

Joshua Johnson remained in the Mississippi County Detention Center with his bond set at $200,000.

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