Dad is identified as JONATHAN KNEPP.
Father accused of abusing infant daughter
Story Created: Mar 30, 2012 at 5:44 PM CDT
(Story Updated: Mar 30, 2012 at 6:17 PM CDT )
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. — A 28-year-old Franklin County man is behind bars on a felony charge of aggravated battery of a child, a very small child. The Franklin County Sheriff said the alleged incident took place nearly two weeks ago.
Jonathan Knepp was arrested and taken to jail Thursday afternoon. Neighbors said they are shocked this young father is facing such a severe charge.
Investigators are remaining fairly quiet about the details in the case but a neighbor told Local 6 the child in question is Knepp's daughter.
The Franklin County Sheriff said the baby involved was six weeks old. The department answered an ambulance call March 15 at a home on River Bend Road in rural Benton, Illinois.
The infant ended up in a St. Louis hospital with a brain injury. According to court papers, the child was "shaken in a violent manner."
"No, I am shocked to hear that. I wouldn't believe it of him for a moment," said a concerned neighbor, who asked that we conceal her identity.
That neighbor said the young family was very friendly and that Knepp and his wife have another child who is a toddler.
The neighbor told Local 6 Knepp is a veteran.
"He's like I said, he served his country. He's been very neighborly. I always see the family together doing things. No, I wouldn't believe that he's the cause," said the neighbor.
Nobody answered the door at the home. Other neighbors on the street said they did not want to comment.
Knepp remains in jail on $300,000 bond in Franklin County.
A spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said Knepp's two children are now in the custody of relatives.
His first court date will be next week.