It is simply incomprehensible how some parents can be cruel, abusive and neglectful towards their children, especially when those children depend on them for love, care and support
A man and a woman have been taken into custody in connection with the murder of the woman’s 5-year-old daughter, who was said to have been exposed to severe abuse and torture before her death.
the 5-year-old girl, Mercedes died after her mother, Katrina, 22, took her to the hospital. Investigators later found evidence that the girl suffered extreme physical abuse — including missing hair and toenails, and bruises, scratches, cuts, and swelling all over her body, as per reports.
Katrina allegedly said the abuse started three weeks earlier, after she asked her boyfriend, Jose, 25, to help with discipline. Katrina claimed she witnessed Jose get dog feces and force her daughter to put it in her mouth.
Katrina reportedly also recalled an instance in which Jose shoved a urine-soaked sock in Mercedes’s mouth and yanked it out, causing her to lose two teeth.
However, Jose told authorities that Katrina was the only person to abuse Mercedes, and that he only slapped her buttocks, put her in the corner, and made her keep her arms raised. He also claimed Mercedes’s 6-year-old sister ripped out her hair.
According to the news outlets, the 6-year-old sister provided an account that corresponded with her mother’s statements to the police.
An autopsy concluded that Mercedes suffered extreme abuse and torture. In addition to extensive injuries, authorities believe the girl’s bruised hands were the result of her trying to defend herself.
Meanwhile, the victim’s great aunt, Emily, said that Katrina favored her other daughter over Mercedes and that the abuse began when Mercedes was weeks old. Emily’s family claimed they tried to get custody of her without success.
“[Katrina] had old paperwork, so [CPS] would favor whatever she said. We’ve all said it’s going to take death to make [CPS] realize that Katrina is not fit to be the mom to those kids,” the great aunt alleged.
Further, neighbors said that they repeatedly called police and Child Protective Services about the violence they heard or witnessed. Gabriel, who shares a wall with Jose, alleged he first called authorities on Thanksgiving.
“We’ve been hearing beating, sounds like a fist hitting the hand. For the past two weeks, I would say 50 hits like that,” he stated.
Gabriel’s fiancee reportedly called the police on Saturday, days before Mercedes’s death. Despite this, the girl was never removed from the home.
“We did what we could,” Gabriel told news outlets. “I lost faith.”
Jose and Katrina are charged with injury to a child, but they may face additional charges as a criminal investigation is ongoing. Katrina’s 6-year-old daughter is currently in foster care.
We are republishing this story amid recent reports that child abuse significantly increased in the United States during the pandemic.