It was one of the worst cases of child abuse Erath County law enforcement officials said they have ever seen.
The case involved a 20-month-old baby girl who suffered serious neglect and abuse. Authorities removed the child from the home last week and what they found was disturbing.
The toddler had severe bruising on her face and body, trauma to the left ear, chipped teeth, a busted lip and nose, bilateral hemorrhaging in both eyes, fractures to the right arm and brain trauma.
Today, she is in the care of foster parents and is doing well.
“Getting the child out of that environment has made all the difference,” said Sheriff Tommy Bryant. “She is thriving.”
A total of eight children were removed from the home. Bryant said the others showed no signs of abuse.
“They did not appear to have been abused,” he said. “They were interviewed at length and they made no claims of abuse. At this point, it appears that the one child was the only victim.”
Now, local residents, horrified by the story, are rallying to help.
“A group of teachers have organized an effort to collect money to make sure the baby gets what she needs, including medical and dental care, toys and clothes,” Bryant said.
A fund has been set up through the Erath County Child Welfare Board’s Rainbow Room.
To help, send checks to the Rainbow Room at 2175 W. South Loop, Stephenville, TX 76401. Make a notation on the check that the money be designated to the “Baby Dee” fund.
Meanwhile, two women remain behind bars at the Erath County Jail in connection with the case, including the child’s mother Jeannette Cuevas, 21, and Leticia Adame, 44, Both have been charged with serious bodily injury to a child.
A third woman, Angelica Espinoza, 27, was also a resident of the home where Cuevas and the child were living. She was arrested for forgery during the abuse investigation. Although she has not been accused of participating in the abuse, Bryant said she was transported to the Comanche County Jail, where she remains, because of threats from other inmates.
“The female inmates she was housed with still considered her to be part of the abuse,” Bryant said. “For her own safety, we had to get her out of here.”