Murfreesboro mother charged with starving infant son

Murfreesboro mother charged with starving infant son (Image 1)

A Murfreesboro father is defending his girlfriend after her arrest last week amid allegations she starved the couple’s three-month-old son.

Viktor Anderson was hospitalized last month at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where doctors said the boy was the average size of a two-week-old newborn.

His mother, Rachel Henley, was arrested at her Journey Drive home Friday on charges of aggravated child neglect and reckless endangerment.

Thursday, Aaron Anderson, Viktor’s father and Henley’s live-in boyfriend of four years, told News 2 the charges are a misunderstanding.

“As many times as she tried to feed him, he only drink like a quarter ounce or something at a time,” said Anderson   

According to Anderson, Henley contacted doctors more than a dozen times after she noticed Viktor was having a difficult time eating and keeping down food.

“She did everything she was supposed to as a mom,” said Anderson.

News 2 contacted Vanderbilt University Medical Center regarding Viktor’s condition.

In a statement Assistant Vice Chancellor for News and Communications John Howser said, “At Vanderbilt, we take the safety and well-being of all those entrusted to our care with the utmost seriousness. Due to federal patient privacy regulations we are unable to comment further on the specifics of this patient’s condition or medical treatment. However, what I am able to say in general is that our patients receive the benefit of care delivered by those who are leading experts in their discipline.”

Henley, 22, was booked into the Rutherford County jail where she remains on $105,000 bond. In addition to the charges she is prohibited from having contact with her son.

Henley also had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court at the time of her arrest.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is investigating the case.

Baby Viktor and his two-year-old brother are in the care of Henley’s mother.

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