DENVER -- A Facebook post shared more than 30,000 times shows a little boy with a bloodied face, stitches, and cigarette burns all in different pictures.
Susan Cain, the boy’s aunt, told Denver7 she posted it because she had no other options to try and get him help. Her brother, Patrick Nigh, is the boy’s father and is currently in jail after charges of domestic violence and child abuse (no injury).
The boy pictured is 21 month-old Natas Nigh. Life isn't perfect for his family, but now it's been thrust into the limelight after the photo post went viral. Social media can be powerful, but it doesn’t always present both sides of the story.
"Complete neglect. Where he's being left alone and someone needs to look into it," said Cain. "When I saw the cigarette burn, that was enough. I'm just tired of seeing all the injuries on the child."
So are the thousands of others who shared the post, and in many cases alerted staff at Denver7.
"I figured the best way to go would be social media. Maybe that would finally get their attention,” said Cain.
She said for several months now, she's called social services and said nothing is being done. But one thing these posts don't include is Lindsay Swisher’s side of the story. She is Natas’ mom.
Swisher told Denver7 that CPS workers have visited her home and opened several cases but have never been able to prove any wrongdoing or neglect. Cain had alleged rampant drug use around Natas.
"I have peed for CPS. I have done everything for CPS. And they keep walking away with a closed case, because I am not an abusive mom. I'm not a bad mom. We are just trying to get over six years of really hard stuff," said Swisher, referencing Natas’ father and Cain’s brother.
Lindsay told Denver7 the blood on her son's face is from Natas swan diving into a table. The cigarette burn? She said he jumped into her lap as she smoked a cigarette on her back porch.
"I think anybody that uses social media to attack anybody, including single moms, especially single moms who are doing their best -- I think they need to take a good long hard look in the mirror," said Swisher.
Now the post has taken on a life of it’s own, and Lindsay says it's affecting her life.
"I have received countless, horrible messages and threats. For what? Because CPS is going to close this case too, because she's wrong," said Swisher. "All she's done is prevented me from future employers. I can’t walk out in the street right now without people pointing at me and my son."
Susan says she didn't mean harm to Lindsay; her only concern is Natas.
"He needs a good, loving home where he can grow up healthy and strong without a negative environment around him," said Cain.
The Colorado Department of Human Services is not at liberty to discuss or share confidential information about specific cases. A spokesperson with the DA's office can confirm that it has twice referred this matter to DHS for follow-up concerning the child victim.
A spokesperson with DPD has confirmed it has opened an investigation.