PALESTINE, Texas (Jan. 9, 2023)-Two Palestine residents are in jail for Injury to a Child and other charges following an investigation by the Palestine Police Department.
Just before 8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 6th, Officer Brandenberger from the Palestine Police Department was dispatched to a residence in the 500 blk. of N. Sycamore in reference to reported child abuse. An anonymous party contacted the department asking for Officers to check the welfare of a 2-year-old child at that location.
Officer Brandenberger arrived on scene and made contact with the mother of the child, who was identified as Maycie Holbrook, 21, of Palestine. Holbrook denied that the child was injured or that there were any issues. Officer Brandenberger then asked to see the child, who was found wearing long sleeves and pants and did not appear to be in distress or injured at that time. Without any further information to go on, Officers cleared the scene.
Later in the night, Officers made contact with a subject who stated that they had been on a FaceTime call with Holbrook earlier in the day. During that call, the subject stated that they observed what appeared to be bite marks on the child’s torso. Due to the child being clothed when the Officer made contact with Holbrook, these marks would not have been visible.
Officer Brandenberger and Detective J. Waldon responded back to Holbrook’s residence. After several attempts, Officers were able to get Holbrook to answer the door. Holbrook became upset with Officers, refusing to allow for the child to be examined and stated all claims were false. Holbrook then reported that no one else was in the apartment and that Officers needed to leave.
Officers then observed a male subject through a window, who was holding the child. Officers made contact with the male subject, who was identified as Seth Gilkey, 31, of Palestine. During the contact, Gilkey stated that everything was fine and was reluctant to let Officers near the child. While Gilkey was holding the child, Officers observed what appeared to be a bite mark, consistent with that of one made by an adult human, on the child’s torso.
Gilkey was then taken into custody. Officers again made contact with Holbrook, who stated that she had been aware of the injuries but did not indicate any intent to report them. Holbrook stated that only she and Gilkey live at the residence. Holbrook was then taken into custody.
Further examination of the child revealed an apparent bite mark, along with several other bruises. Child Protective Services was contacted, and the child has been placed with relatives.
Gilkey and Holbrook were transported to the Anderson County Jail where they were booked without incident. Gilkey has been charged with Injury to a Child with Intent-Bodily Injury. Holbrook has been charged with Injury to a Child Criminal Negligence, False Report/Statement to a Police Officer and Knowingly Fail to Make/Request Child Abuse Report.
“This is one of those cases that is difficult to see, and you hope you never do.” PPD Chief Mark Harcrow said. “I commend the Officers for their diligence in this case and saving this child’s life.”
The investigation is ongoing.