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'I'm truly devastated': Mother of recovering infant recalls attack by child's grandfather

Bryleigh Adams
Bryleigh Adams
Bryleigh Adams and Madalynn Hadley
Bryleigh Adams
Posted at 11:11 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-24 23:14:26-04

GREENSBURG — An infant girl is on the path to recovery as her grandfather awaits trials on allegations he repeatedly punched her in the face, injuring her so badly she was intubated, suffered seizures and needed physical therapy.

Christopher D. Allen, of Greensburg, was charged with attempted murder — a level 1 felony — in connection with the March 7 attack, according to Greensburg police and online court records.

Madalynn Hadley, Allen's daughter and the mother of Bryleigh Adams, said her daughter suffered fractures in the back of her skull, a fractured and dislocated eye socket, bleeding on both sides of her brain, traumatic brain injuries and several torn ligaments.

The attack came as a shock to her entire family.

Bryleigh Adams
Bryleigh Adams was severely injured when she was attacked by her grandfather, Christopher D. Allen, on March 7, 2022, according to her mother, Madalynn Hadley.

“He’s always been my dad. He’s always been a great dad. He’s been an awesome grandfather. And he was like a father figure to my son. So no one thought that he would hurt anybody.” Hadley said.

Hadley said her father was acting abnormally leading up to the assault. On the day it happened, she and her mother had previously called emergency responders to check into his mental state.

She added that her father's mental decline progressed quickly over a very brief period of time.

“He was very delusional. Basically, he said he was on a journey to Christ and that it was the end times,” Hadley said.

But despite his condition, she never expected him to become violent.

After the initial calls to police, Allen was checked into a hospital, was evaluated, then returned home with Hadley.

Sometime later, as Hadley was pulling into her driveway, she found Allen shoeless outside with her 4-year-old son in his arms. Hadley believes her father was trying to take her son, though she said he didn't say where.

There was then a struggle, and after Hadley got her son to safety, Allen then left the home. She later barricaded her doors in case he came back.

He did just that later in the evening, she said.

Hadley said Allen tried to break in through a back door, at which point police officers were called to the home. There, they spoke with Allen and at first, didn't place him in handcuffs, Hadley said. She remembers Allen saying he wanted to say goodbye to his grandkids before he went away.

"I wasn't scared that he was going to try to hurt my kids. He just wanted to say goodbye," Hadley said she thought to herself at the time. "I opened the door. He hugged my son and then pushed him out of the way, said he 'had to', and then very quickly struck my daughter in the head a few times," she said.

Bryleigh Adams
Five-month-old Bryleigh Adams was severely injured when she was attacked by her grandfather, Christopher D. Allen, on March 7, 2022, according to her mother, Madalynn Hadley.

Hadley said a chaotic scene then unfolded as police took Allen away and she rushed to her now-injured daughter while trying to process what had just happened. Meanwhile, officers performed CPR on Bryleigh until an ambulance arrived, she said.

“I'm torn up. That's my number one person — my favorite person in the whole world. Someone I looked up to, and my son's father figure. So I'm truly devastated.” Hadley said.

Hadley said it has been difficult for her to make sense of her father’s actions while dealing with a child in the hospital with potentially long-term injuries.

She said she hadn't spoken with him since the attack.

"I'm not sure that I really want to at any point in time, any time soon. Of course, I want answers. I want to know what's medically wrong with him ... " she said. "This wasn't an act of like, he snapped on the baby and chose to, you know ... his patience got thin. He wasn't babysitting or anything. I think this was a whole act of just him being very delusional. And in his eyes, he thought that he was doing something he was supposed to because he believed that it was the end times and that he was sending her to heaven."

But for now, her focus is on Bryleigh, who has shown significant improvement. She was just recently released from the hospital, Hadley said.

Bryleigh Adams and Madalynn Hadley
Bryleigh Adams and her mother Madalynn Hadley pose for a photo together.

A fundraiser has been set up to help support Bryleigh's medical expenses through GiveSendGo. As of Thursday, more than $7,000 had been raised.

WRTV has repeatedly reached out to Greensburg police and the Decatur County Prosecutor's Office but has not received records on Allen's arrest.

Allen is scheduled to appear before a jury at Decatur Circuit Court on June 7, court records show. His attorney, Mark Jones, did not respond to a request for comment.

How, where to report child abuse

If you or someone you know is aware of child abuse or neglect, contact the Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556. Indiana's Child Protective Services receives and initiates investigations 24 hours a day.

Reports can also be made to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

A full list of child abuse and neglect contact information by state, including toll-free numbers and emails, is available on the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

All 50 U.S. states have laws identifying persons who are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect. They include social workers, teachers and other school personnel, child care providers, physicians and other healthcare workers. In some states, it's the law that any person who suspects child abuse or neglect to report it, according to the HHS.

A full Q&A and list of additional resources are available here.