TAMPA — The father of a gravely injured toddler said Tuesday he has been granted custody while the boy's mother remained jailed on a felony child abuse charge.
The father, Messiah Love, said he was awarded custody of 2-year-old Christian during a Department of Children and Families hearing Tuesday. The toddler underwent brain surgery over the weekend and was in critical condition Tuesday at Tampa General Hospital.
If Christian remains unresponsive for 48 hours, Love said, doctors will declare him brain dead.
The boy's mother, Candace A. Mitchell, 24, of Tampa, was arrested Sunday on an aggravated child abuse charge.
Tampa police said she had waited five hours to get medical care for the boy, even though he had been unconscious.
A judge set bail for Mitchell at $50,000, but records showed she remained late Tuesday in the Hillsborough County Jail.
When Mitchell took her son to the hospital on Saturday, she told doctors the child had fallen while in the care of a boyfriend who is not the child's father.
The doctors became suspicious and alerted authorities.
Tampa police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor said Mitchell's boyfriend has not been charged.