Horrifying New Details About The Indiana Toddler Whose Mom Was Arrested After Doctors Found His Tongue Cut In Half

Photo: Vigo County Jail
New Details Indiana Toddler Tongue Cut In Half Mother Holly Cota Boyfriend Scott Edwards Arrested Child Abuse

An Indiana couple faces severe child abuse charges after the woman's 14-month-old son required hospitalization. Scott A. Edwards, 33, and Holly Cota, 28, were arrested on Jan. 18 when police were called to Union Hospital, where the child was being treated for a split tongue and multiple bruises.

Edwards faces charges of aggravated battery, battery and neglect of a dependent and is being held on a $75,000 bond. Cota was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury as well as obstruction of justice after police said the mother admitted she had lied when she was questioned about her son's injuries. She has since been released. 


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The couple appeared in court Friday morning. Edwards is scheduled to appear back in court on Feb. 4.

Cota took the victim to the hospital on Jan. 14 to address injuries to his head and abdomen. According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WHI, an examination of the child showed his tongue had been split down the middle, possibly with scissors. 

When asked about the child's injuries, Cota told police her son had fallen out of his crib multiple times and must have bit his tongue. She said that the boy “must have straddled the toy box when he fell, causing damage to his scrotum,” the affidavit says. Cota said she was the only person with the boy when he was injured.

The victim was transferred to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where a doctor with the Child Protection Team told police the cut on his tongue was not made by his teeth. Teeth don't run in that direction, the doctor said.


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“She said that the cut appeared clean and was not torn which indicated that some type of tool, possibly scissors, were used,” the affidavit says. “She also said that a piece at the tip of the tongue was missing.”

The doctor added that the injuries the boy sustained could not have been from a fall or two. They were a result of inflicted trauma, not a few accidental falls.

Cota later told police that her son's injuries had occurred while she was at work and that her boyfriend, Edwards, had been watching the toddler. She was initially afraid to bring him to a hospital because of his condition, she said. 

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The friend and family of the child said they are devastated, WTHI reported.

"I am appalled. I am disgusted. My heart hurts," said Chelsie Loose, who has been a friend of the family for 20 years and has known the child his whole life. "When that's all you can think about is that poor baby going through that with nobody for him to be his voice and say stop...you're hurting me. It just breaks my heart."


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Sarah Gangraw writes about all things news, entertainment and crime.