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Grandfather Defends Parents Of Injured Twins

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(Photo Courtesy: Eicher Family)

(Photo Courtesy: Eicher Family)

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SALTLICK (KDKA) — The grandparents of twins who were badly injured are coming to their daughter’s defense.

The twins are in foster care after police and CYS suspected their parents of abuse.

Kristen Eicher, 19, and Earl Ritenour, 21, were charged earlier this week with aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

“He had the little boy in the bedroom – the father did – and he rolled him over and said his arm got broke,” Robert Eicher, the victims’ grandfather, said.

But when the little boy got to Children’s Hospital, doctors realized he also had numerous broken ribs. They then examined his sister and found she had a broken leg and rib fractures that were healing.

The twins’ grandfather says he thinks they must have had brittle bones from being born prematurely.

“The thing that’s got me puzzled is that they never cried,” Eicher told KDKA-TV. “Like, the little boy never cried even when he broke his arm.”

State police say this was no misunderstanding. They say the hospital report called the level of violence that took place in the Clinton Road home in Saltlick extensive.

“The suspects in the case did provide some type of explanation for what had occurred; however, the doctor’s opinion was that their explanation for what occurred wasn’t even remotely close or would begin to explain the type of injuries that these babies had,” State Trooper Stefani Plume said.

Still, the family is hopeful the truth will come out and the twins will be able to come back home.

“The only thing that I seen was nothing,” the grandfather said. “… I never seen them be rough with them or nothing, I mean other than them loving them and feeding them and holding them like they’re supposed to.”

The twins’ parents are out on bond. Eicher said depending on what happens with the charges, he and his wife are planning to seek custody of the twins.

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