KILL DEVIL HIILS, N.C.(WAVY) - A North Carolina baby, just 13 months old, is clinging to life and his father is doing all he can to gain custody of him.
Investigators charged the baby's mother, 18-year-old Jessica Atkins, and her friend, 23-year-old Jesse James with felony child abuse on Thursday.
Investigators say a parent took the boy to the Outer Banks Hospital Tuesday. The injuries were so serious the boy was immediately transported by helicopter to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, where he remains in critical condition.
10 On Your Side talked to a relative on the father's side of the family. She asked us to conceal her identity.
"I can't even begin to tell you how I feel," said the baby's aunt. "I just cry all the time because we're told the baby has to have part of his skull removed. If he survives he will be blind."
The child's maternal grandmother told WAVY.com the allegations are the result of a misunderstanding. The grandmother says the boy fell face first on the floor last week and suffered a concussion. At the time, the mother took the boy to the hospital to be examined by doctors. The grandmother says the boy started having a seizure Tuesday.
"I don't believe it was an accident because of the severity of the injuries. Whether the mother knew or didn't know I'm not going to speculate," said the aunt.
The 13-month-old baby, named Mason, is at CHKD under the custody of Child Protective Services. His aunt says his father is petitioning for custody of the child
"If he survives his grandmother, his father, and grandfather want to make sure he's in an environment where this will never happen again," said the aunt.
Since 10 On Your Side aired this story last week, family members says people have been too quick to judge Mason's other relatives for what may have happened.
"I want people to know that the other side of the family is devastated. If my sister had any any thought that when she took Mason home Monday that this would happen on Tuesday she would have never let him go," said the aunt.
Atkins and James are being held at the Dare County Detention Center. Police said additional charges are possible as the investigation continues.
Newport News Police are still looking for a killer more than four years after a 17-year-old was shot dead.
An Amtrak train carrying more than 40 passengers was involved in an accident with a car Thursday morning in Waverly.
A boil water advisory has been issued in Corolla after a water line break.