WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (TCD) — Two women have been arrested and charged in connection with the abuse and death of a 5-year-old child.
On March 7, the Waynesville Police Department was notified that a student found his younger sibling “unconscious and unresponsive” at their home. Police subsequently responded to the home on the 700 block of Washington Street, and another sibling answered the door and said her younger sister was deceased.
Officers reportedly entered the home, found the unresponsive victim, and pronounced her dead at the scene.
A probable cause statement obtained by KOLR-TV alleges the victim was located under a blanket in the living room with apparent rope marks on her wrists, ankles, and neck. There was also reportedly a blood-covered sock near her body and three lengths of rope.
The reporting child told police his stepmother woke him up, and he noticed that his younger sister was tied to a futon, KOLR reports. The child reportedly said the victim would steal food in the middle of the night, so Angela West and Shamira Buford would tie the child up as punishment.
One of the children told police West had a bad back and would have the kids help her tie the victim to the futon, KOLR reports.
During an interview, Buford reportedly told officials the child “continued to steal food and that they tried numerous things to get her to stop.”
West and Buford allegedly duct-taped the child’s wrists and ankles and eventually began “hog-tying” the child. To keep her quiet, they reportedly placed a sock in the victim’s mouth.
According to the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s Office, West and Buford face charges of felony murder, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, and child abuse. They remain held in the Pulaski County Jail without bond.
Police did not specify the relationship between the victim and the two female suspects.
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