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Grandparents of boy in critical condition from alleged abuse claim negligence from Child Protective Services

Posted at 9:47 PM, Oct 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 08:53:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A five-year-old boy is fighting for his life, and his grandparents say their cries for help went unanswered after he was taken to the hospital Thursday due to severe injuries from alleged abuse.

26-year-old Jordan Wills, the child's mother, and 31-year-old John Manning, Wills' fiance, were arrested Thursday for felony child abuse charges after their son, identified by his grandparents as Tanner, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. As of Sunday evening, Tanner remains in a coma.

26-year-old Jordan Wills, the child's mother, and 31-year-old John Manning, Wills' fiance.

Four months ago Mandy and Mike Sorensen knew their 5-year-old grandson wasn't okay.

"Tanner was limping, he had injuries," said Mandy. "There were bruises all over him."

Concerned, Mandy and Mike took their grandson to see their doctor. They said the doctor looked at him and filed a report for Child Protective Services (CPS) the next day.

The couple said they sent evidence to CPS to show abuse was happening.

"I took pictures of everything," Mike said.

"He (Tanner) told us, he said, 'He hit me like this,'" Mike mimicked while making a punching motion across the side of his face. "He (Tanner) said this guy (Manning) had broken his ball bat, his heavy plastic ball bat, on his back."

Mike said later that day he asked Tanner what had happened again.

"We had it on video," said Mike.

Mandy said when CPS went to check on the child, no one was home. She said her daughter, Tanner's mother, called her later and told her that CPS had come back and they didn't find anything wrong.

Still, the Sorensen's said they tried to follow up.

"Nothing happened, we didn’t hear anything back," said Mike.

Now the two are hoping for a miracle, as their grandchild lies in the hospital.

"My wife kissed him on the nose and we saw his brainwave spike in an area," Mike said.

"We knew he was in there, we knew he could hear us, we could just feel it," said Mandy.

The family said they were initially told Tanner had a zero percent chance of living--the boy remains unconscious and on life support with little brain activity.

Fox 13 reached out the Utah Child Protective Services to see what happened with the case but did not hear back at the time of this report.