Elledge murder and child abuse cases involve 40 witnesses
COLUMBIA, MO – At a status hearing for murder suspect Joseph Elledge on Friday, the state filed motions to endorse 40 witnesses for multiple charges against the defendant.
Elledge, 24, is charged with first-degree murder as well as unrelated charges for child abuse, child endangerment and third-degree domestic assault. He’s accused of killing his wife, Mengqi Ji, in October of 2019.
On Friday, the state asked that 23 witnesses in the murder case and 17 in the child abuse case be endorsed.
Ji’s body has not been found.
As previously reported by the Missourian, Columbia police recently resumed the search, continuing the excavation of a levee in the Lamine River, where investigators have said they have reason to believe Ji’s body might be found.
Boone County Chief Prosecutor Dan Knight said the trial could take up to a month, because of delays related to COVID-19 and translating witness testimony. Many of the witnesses called to testify speak Chinese.
In another layer of complication for the case, processes for selecting and impaneling jurors have become protracted because of reduced occupancy limits in courtrooms and the need for safe social distance.
No trial date has been set. A bond hearing was scheduled for Nov. 30, and Knight said at that point the court may have a better idea when the trial will begin.
Women charged with felony child abuse
in separate cases
PORT ORCHARD, WA – In unrelated incidents, two women were charged Tuesday in Kitsap Superior Court with felony child abuse.
One was charged for leaving a 1-year-old girl in a hot car while attempting to shoplift at the Silverdale Target and another for beating her 6-year-old son with a belt after he got into a fight at school.
Sheriff’s deputies were called Sept. 4 by employees of a private school in East Bremerton reporting that a student had asked to stand instead of sit, as it hurt him to sit because of “significant welts and marks” on his backside after his mother disciplined him, according to court documents.
Deputies spoke with his mother, 30, who said the boy had been assaulting other children and she wanted to stop this behavior. She gave deputies a synthetic leather belt with metal features.
The woman pleaded not guilty to a count of third-degree assault of a child.
The boy and a sibling were placed in protective custody.
Deputies were called Sunday to the Silverdale Target after security guards there said a woman, 24, they knew to repeatedly shoplift from other Target stores had selected some bottles of alcohol. She was then joined by a man, 56, who is believed to have gone into the store to warn her security was present, according to court documents.
The woman left behind the items but when the two went back to the car, deputies met them and attempted to serve them with a notice that they had been banned from returning to any Target.
While at the car, deputies noticed 1-year-old girl in the back seat who appeared to be sweating. A deputy wrote in documents that it was 75 degrees out and the temperature inside the car was likely much higher. Medics were called and said the girl was lethargic and needed to be taken to the hospital for an evaluation.
Deputies were told by a security guard that, according to surveillance camera footage taken inside the store, the two adults left the baby in the car unattended for about 23 minutes. The girl was turned over to Child Protective Services after she was released from the hospital.
Both the man and woman were arrested and booked into the Kitsap County Jail. They pleaded not guilty to second-degree criminal mistreatment and reckless endangerment.
Twenty five years ago, Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” music video featured images of missing children and helped close 21 cases.
If one video could recover that many children, how many can we find with the power of new technology and social media?
Runaway Train 25 – MTV Video Music Award “Video for Good” nominated! Watch, share, help bring kids home.
For the 25th anniversary of the song, we reimagined “Runaway Train” with new artists and a dynamic music video that updates itself with missing children from the NCMEC database based on a user’s location. That means more missing children in front of more people in more relevant places.
Watch #RunawayTrain25 and help us bring home #Missingkids.
As the nation’s clearinghouse and comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization, NCMEC leads the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation – because every child deserves a safe childhood.
LUBBOCK, TX – Amid new concerns about child abuse, the Go Blue Lubbock campaign, held every April as a part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, stresses the importance of protecting children and preventing child abuse on the South Plains.
With added pressures brought on by health concerns, job insecurity, financial strain, and other effects of the coronavirus crisis, children are at greater risk as parents and caregivers struggle to cope.
In 2019, there were 3,095 confirmed cases of child abuse in the Lubbock Region.
Fifteen children lost their lives in abuse or neglect related fatalities in this area.
The Lubbock area continues to have one of the highest rates of confirmed abuse or neglect in the state with an average of three confirmed cases in Lubbock County every day.
The public is invited to participate in the campaign by wearing blue on Go Blue Fridays throughout the month of April and sharing and tagging with the hashtag #GoBlueLubbock.
Cecil County man charged with Child Abuse; accused of shaking baby
April 02, 2020
CECIL COUNTY, MD – A man is facing felony child abuse charges after he allegedly shook a 5-month-old baby in his Cecil County household, causing significant injury to the infant’s brain, according to charging documents.
Investigators identified the suspect as 57-year-old Paul Frederick Herd Sr., who remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond on Thursday, two days after his bail review hearing, court records show.
Herd is charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury, first-degree assault and second-degree custodial child abuse – all of which are felonies – in addition to three misdemeanor offenses, according to Cecil County District Court records.
“At this time, it is impossible to know what long term effects will be; however, portions of the brain were deprived oxygen due to the hemorrhaging,” Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Det. Chase Arminger, lead investigator, outlines in his written statement of probable cause filed on Tuesday.
The investigation started on March 19, when Arminger responded to Nemours A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Del., after physicians there alerted that they were treating a 5-month-old baby for “injuries consistent with physical abuse,” police said.
Doctors reported that the infant was “actively seizing with no medical explanation,” that a CAT scan revealed the infant was suffering from “acute and chronic” bleeding inside the head; and that a retinal scan indicated “significant (bleeding) in both eyes,” police added.
“The ruptured blood vessels in the retinal area were too numerous to count. Medical professionals advised (that) the injuries present were inconsistent with the explanation given at the time the infant was presented to the medical staff. Det. Arminger was advised that the mechanism of injury was physical abuse consistent with shaking, unless or until, proven otherwise,” according to court records.
That prompted Arminger to conduct separate interviews with five other people who were living in the house with the baby – the infant’s mother, the mother’s boyfriend and the mothers’s two other children, who are elementary-school aged, police reported.
The mother told Arminger that the baby and her two other children had been left in the sole care of Herd on March 14 and again on March 17, police said. The mother also told the investigator that she noticed a change in the baby’s behavior on March 16, police added.
“The infant was refusing (its) bottle, sleeping off and on, and being abnormally fussy. Through March 16 through March 18, the infant’s condition continued to deteriorate, prompting the mother to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician,” court records show.
On the morning of March 19, however, the baby started seizing and, after consulting the pediatrician on the phone, the mother called 911 — resulting in an ambulance crew driving the infant to A.I. DuPont Children’s Hospital, police reported.
The mother’s boyfriend, during his separate interview, gave a similar account of when Herd was alone with the baby and the other two children in the house, police said. He, too, also told Arminger that the baby had been moody and had a diminished appetite, police added.
In addition, according to court records, the mother’s boyfriend reported that he noticed a small bruise on the baby’s face on the night of March 17 and that he was unsure of the cause.
The mother’s boyfriend also noted Herd had told him that, on March 14, one of the elementary-aged children had tripped over the baby while the infant was on the floor — an incident that occurred while all three children were in Herd’s sole care, court records show.
During their separate interviews, the elementary-aged children gave similar accounts of Herd’s alleged reaction after the tripping incident took place, police said.
The older of the two children described Herd as “mad” at the sibling who had tripped over the baby, police added.
That older child told Arminger that Herd then picked up the infant and “shook her up and down saying, ‘It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay’,” court records allege.
The younger of the two elementary-aged children told the investigator that Herd picked up the baby and “moved (the infant) up and down” while saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay.”
During his interview, Herd told investigators that the tripping incident occurred on March 17, not March 14, and that the baby was not injured and was “doing fine” and “taking bottles normally,” police reported.
When asked about the events of the March 13-15 weekend, according to court records, investigators noticed a “significant behavior change” in Herd. Investigators observed Herd “look away and appear withdrawn while giving answers to specific questions,” police reported.
Herd denied watching the baby and the two older children over the March 13-15 weekend, until detectives shared details given during other interviews, police said. At that point, police added, Herd “admitted to watching the children, but only for 30 minutes.”
When asked to detail what occurred right before and directly after the baby’s mother called 911 on morning of March 19, Herd told investigators that the infant was “barely conscious,” and that he attempted to help the baby while waiting for the ambulance, police reported.
“I (Herd) kept holding (the baby’s hands) and keeping (the baby) alert, because I know when you have a concussion, you don’t go to sleep,” according to court records, which further allege, “(Herd) would have had no knowledge the infant had a head injury at the time 911 was contacted unless there was prior knowledge of the mechanism of injury.”
Arminger arrested Herd on Tuesday, court records show.