The daughter of former Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow is facing a felony child abuse charge after allegedly leaving bruises on her child.

On Friday, Laramie County Circuit Court Judge Sean Chambers found probable cause to bind Paiton Melissa Balow, 23, of Cheyenne, over to District Court.

According to preliminary hearing testimony, police were called to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center on Oct. 2, 2022, after Balow brought her 22-month-old daughter to the emergency department for significant bruising on her body.

"She had indicated that her daughter was in the process of learning to walk and to pull herself up and had fallen a single time into a portable Pack 'n Play and that was the cause of the bruising," Detective Damon Hall told the court.

Hall says the child had significantly elevated levels of particular enzymes in her body which were indicative of trauma, and was subsequently placed in the custody of the Wyoming Department of Family Services.

Hall says there were also two prior incidents, one on Sept. 20, 2022, and one on Sept. 26, 2022, where the child showed up to daycare with bruises on her face and neck, which the daycare reported to DFS on Sept. 26, 2022.

"The director did indicate that she'd asked on both occasions what the source of the bruising was, and she indicated that Ms. Balow did not have an explanation," said Hall.

Hall says Balow was going through a breakup at the time, but "there was no indication that there was anyone with the child other than Balow."

Hall says an affidavit of probable cause was sent to former District Attorney Leigh Anne Grant Manlove's office in November 2022, but it was "lost in the shuffle" between DAs, which is why Balow wasn't charged until May 31, 2023.

She was picked up on a warrant on June 6, 2023.

Balow is currently out on bond. Her next court appearance will be an arraignment in District Court, which has yet to be scheduled.

Hall says the child has been placed with an aunt and uncle in Gillette and is doing well.

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