Police: 10-year-old couldn’t hold down food, had scratches, bruising leading to child abuse charges

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A report of a runaway led police to an emaciated, underdeveloped 10-year old on Monday, and now two women are each facing a child abuse charge.

Jackson County prosecutors charged 25-year old Chianna Hendrix and 36-year old LaTrecia Hendrix with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in serious emotional or physical injury. Court documents say that Chianna Hendrix is the child's biological mother, but they don't specify the child's gender.

According to a probable cause statement, officers fed the victim who immediately became sick. When the child was taken to Centerpoint Hospital, detectives saw marks that looked like fingernail scratches all over their body and saw bruising in the victim’s ribs. The child wasn’t able to control their bladder or bowel movements, and was sent to Children’s Mercy Hospital due to the extent of the neglect.

Court documents say police also went to the child's Independence home in the 400 block of N. Ponca Drive and found bottles of urine on the floor and feces on the bed in their bedroom. A five-year-old child in the home told a Children’s Division investigator that the 10-year-old was often beaten for taking food and locked in the basement.

One neighbor FOX 4 spoke with said he was surprised to hear the allegations.

"It's really surprising to hear it's happening right next door to me. I have two children of my own so I could never imagine even doing something like that to my child," the neighbor said.

Another neighbor said she would see the kids improperly clothed outside in the cold.

"Mainly the little girl. She'd always walk the dog in the middle of winter no coat on. None of the kids ever had coats on," Tina Wyatt said.

When interviewed by police, both suspects admitted they knew something was medically wrong with the child, but didn’t provide medical treatment.

LaTrecia Hendrix told investigators it was an ongoing issue for the past two years due to lack of medical insurance. She denied any other type of abuse, but did say the child stealing food was a problem that led to punishment.

Prosecutors have requested a $100,000 bond for each woman.

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