Williams Co. infant abused, mother's boyfriend facing charges

Thomas Jay Knapp Jr.
Thomas Jay Knapp Jr.

MONTPELIER, OH (Toledo News Now) - A 9-month-old baby girl is fighting for her life while her mother's boyfriend faces charges. The incident happened last Sunday at a Montpelier home in Williams County.

"It's a lot to wrap your mind around. I can't hold her. I can't comfort her. The only thing I can do is put my hand on her and let her rest," said Trey Wernsing.

It has been just over a week since doctors told Wernsing his 9-month-old girl, Lilly, had shaken baby syndrome.

"Someone who could intentionally do damage to an infant is beyond words in my book," said Wernsing.

But that is exactly what sheriff's officials say Thomas Jay Knapp Jr. may have done. He is the boyfriend of baby Lilly's mother.

"Pretty much a large percentage - or the whole left side of the brain - was damaged or killed," explained Wernsing.

Doctors say Lilly may never walk, talk, or have the mental ability past a fifth-grade level.

Wernsing says it is hard to process but he will not give up, and says his baby girl will not either. He says he is fighting for custody and does not plan on leaving his baby's side.

"My only baby girl. The one I've always wanted, and I won't let her go now. I can't do it," said Wernsing.

Wernsing says Lilly's breathing tube was recently removed and a lot of the swelling around her head has gone down.

As for Knapp, sheriff's officials say they are still investigating the case and there is a possibility he could face even more charges.

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