Grafton woman arrested after young child falls from two-story deck

GRAFTON—A local woman is being charged after a child in her care fell from a two-story deck.

Julie Truax, 25, of Grafton, was arrested and charged with child neglect resulting in injury after an incident on Wednesday, September 23, in which a young child, approximately two years of age, fell from a deck on Long Street.

According to the criminal complaint by the Grafton City Police Department, police were dispatched to the scene after a call was made by neighbors who witnessed the event.

Once on scene, offers made contact with the caller who stated that her husband had been outside cleaning his truck when he noticed young children playing on the back deck of the neighboring residence.

According to her statement, the witness told the officer that her husband watched as the children threw toys off of the deck into the yard below, before he witnessed the small child falling through the railing of the porch.

The child landed on a concrete slab below the deck, and the witness and her husband rushed to render aid the boy. The witness revealed that as she was tending to the child, her husband attempted to make contact with an adult in the home.

She revealed that although he repeatedly beat on the door, no one answered, but one of the other youths told him that there was an adult asleep inside.

The injured child was taken to the caller’s porch, where they awaited the arrival of emergency responders.

According to the complaint, before law enforcement or the emergency squad arrived on scene, Truax came out of the home and approached the witness, bringing with her items to change the child’s soiled diaper.

When the neighbor recounted what had happened to the toddler and revealed that she had called for emergency services, Truax became angry and expressed her disdain that the woman had called 911.

The child was transported to by the Taylor County Emergency Squad to Grafton City Hospital for the injuries he sustained in the fall before being transported to West Virginia University Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

By that time the emergency responders had made it on scene, Truax had already left and had returned to her home, according to the complaint.

When observing the diaper that the child had been wearing, officers noted that it was completely saturated with urine. Furthermore, they noted in their report that the witness who tended to the child disclosed that when she picked the child up to carry it to her porch, her shirt became wet with urine that had oozed out of the diaper.

It was then that officer called the child abuse hotline to report the incident.

Medical records obtained by officers revealed that the toddler had sustained head trauma and a fractured skull, injuries consistent with the fall. They also revealed that child also had a bruise on the left side of his back, a mark on the right side of his chest, abrasions on his right leg and what appeared to be diaper rash.

Truax was transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail to await arraignment. She has since posted bond and is awaiting future court hearings in the matter.


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