Four Adults Jailed After Horrific Child Abuse Discovered

5/8/2008 1:19:46 PM
KOKOMO, IN (NBC) -- A pair of four-year-olds were rescued from an Indiana home following a tip to police. Authorities are calling it one of the worst cases of child abuse they've ever seen.

Four adults face charges after police went inside a home and found the children with broken bones.

"We saw the children and called the ambulance," said Kokomo Police Lt. Don Whitehead.

Police say the cousins, a boy and a girl, were beaten and "at times bound with zip ties."

"The girl, at one point in time, was kept for at least a three-week period in a small closet, locked in the closet," Lt. Whitehead said.

Both children's mothers, 26-year-old Jennifer Leonard and 30-year-old Melissa Chandler are under arrest. They face neglect and aiding battery charges.

They lived in the home with another couple, Madeline and Donald Hawk, who are also charged as police try to figure out how the abuse started.

The children were hung by their hands from a clothes rod wearing dirty diapers. Sometimes, police say they went unfed, not allowed to sleep, and beaten if they laid down. At times, they were tied so they couldn't lay down.

Asked if he'd consider it torture, Lt. Whitehead replied, "Absolutely."

Police have no answers to why the abuse happened.

"I don't think there's any doubt if we had not stumbled into this that these children would not have survived their environment much longer," Lt. Whitehead said.

He added that while he's seen worse cases, those cases resulted in death.


By: bellava (54160.28)

Tags: child, abuse, cousins ,locked ,closet ,beat

Location: Beirut, Lebanon

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