Crime

Parents Charged With Abusing 6-Month-Old Girl

| by Michael Howard

A 6-month-old girl in North Carolina is in critical condition and her parents have been arrested and charged with child abuse.

On March 24, investigators were called to Carolinas Medical Center by doctors who believed the infant was the victim of abuse, according to WSOC.

Police obtained a warrant and arrested the girl's parents, Steven Dean and Morgan Conn, both 34 years old. They were charged with felony child abuse and are being held on $150,000 bonds.

Neighbor Jenna Bullman said she was in her home when Dean knocked on her door and asked for help.

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"I opened the door and he was crying and I said, 'What's wrong?' and he said, 'Please come help me with my baby girl,'" Bullman told WCCB.

She went next door and found that the little girl, Khloe Alice Dean, was close to death.

"I touched her heartbeat," she said. "She had a heartbeat but she was not breathing."

Bullman said she performed CPR before Alice was taken to the hospital. At first she was under the impression that the infant had suffered a seizure.

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The arrest warrants indicate that Alice was suffering from bleeding in her brain.

"There are no words to describe how painful that was," Bullman told WSOC. "She's so tiny. And for somebody to do something like that crushed me so bad, to where I was angry. Every emotion that you could possibly think of is what I felt. It's just really indescribable."

"She didn’t ask to be brought into this world," she said to WCCB. "No child does. But it’s your responsibility as their parent to protect them and do anything you can for them."

Alice remains in critical condition.

"Cases involving children are always difficult," Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said in a statement. "Babies are at the mercy of their parents to take care of them and keep them safe. Unfortunately, this did not happen in this case. I would ask everyone to keep this baby in their thoughts and prayers as she continues to battle for her life."

Bullman said Dean and Conn had moved into the house next door a week and a half earlier. They reportedly have nine children total, whose ages range from infant to late teens.

The Department of Social Services has placed the other children in protective custody.

In 2015, Dean was arrested and charged with assault on a child under the age of 12. The district attorney later dropped the charge, however.

Sources: WSOC, WCCB / Photo Credit: Cleveland County Sheriff's Office via Charlotte Observer

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