WHEELING, WV (THE INTELLIGENCER) – An Ohio County couple is behind bars after a concerned neighbor called authorities because she heard a child crying for days. The 2-year-old child in the couple’s home was found with serious injuries including fractures and bruises.
According to a West Virginia State Police report, at 6:40 p.m. Aug. 18, the Ohio County Child Protective Services began investigating a report of suspected child abuse at a home on Leopold Lane after a neighbor called authorities.
Some officials at the Magistrate office are calling this the worst child abuse case they’ve ever seen.
“I heard the baby crying all the time and I would see bruises on the child. Just hearing him cry every day, day after day, for hours at a time. I could not take it anymore and I had to call CPS because I knew something was going on,” said the neighbor who did not want to be identified.
The child was taken to Ohio Valley Medical Center where medical staff discovered facial contusions, swelling, a ligature mark and two fractures. After consulting with an orthopedic specialist in Charleston, on Thursday, it was indicated that the child’s fractures were four weeks old.
According to the criminal complaint, at 1:02 p.m. Aug. 25, Hall stated that she witnessed Rice put hot sauce in the child’s mouth and nose by using a medical syringe while in Rice’s care multiple times. Hall also witnessed Rice cover the child’s mouth and nose with duct tape in an effort to discipline the child. In addition to Rice grabbing the child’s leg while in the bathtub, turning the child over onto his stomach, and forcing his face under the water. Hall told authorities she also witnessed Rice strike the child in the face with the back of his hand, and throw the child over a gate in the bedroom.
Hall was asked if she had ever contacted CPS, a hospital, or the police to ensure the protection of her child and she answered, “No,” according to the report.
Both Rice and Hall are in the Northern Regional Jail. Bond has been set at $15 million for Rice, while Hallís bond is set at $60,000.
The child is now under the protection and care of Child Protective Services.