DELAWARE COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) - Today a couple facing charges in the death of a 5-year-old girlappeared before a Delaware county judge. They heard the chargesagainst them: felony child neglect leading to death.
According to court documents released today, the girl may havesuffered months’ worth of abuse and starvation.
Read the Court Documents. WARNING: Graphic Language
Police questioned more than 50 witnesses, investigated forweeks, and Tuesday a detective told 24-Hour News 8 he is confidentthis is a strong case.
According to detectives and doctors at Riley Hospital forChildren, 5-year-old Lauren McConniel may have suffered physicaland possibly sexual abuse and neglect before dying at the hospitalin March. Since then detectives have been looking at Lauren’sFather Ryan McConniel and Step-Mother Brittany McConniel and therole they may have played in her death.
Today a judge entered a not guilty plea on their behalf and settheir cash only bail at $30,000.
While the couple’s family members defend them, thedetective in the case says Lauren’s death could have beenprevented.
24-Hour News 8 spoke with Brittany's uncle, Tony Rice, whodefends his niece.
“Like I said it’s bull crap. That’s what Ithink. And Ryan, they did everything they were supposed todo.” said Rice.
Meantime, the detective on the case, Sgt. Jim Gibson saysthis is a strong case.
“Bruises all over her legs, there were other bruisesall over her body. She had some broken fingers that were in variousstages of healing, just pitiful stuff.” said Gibson. He alsosays the injuries could not have been self inflicted.
According to the court documents, Forensic Pediatrician Dr.Antoinette Laskey at Riley Hospital found that Lauren died withextremely high levels of salt in her system. Dr. Lasky says at thelevels found in Lauren, the salt had to be ingested and that“a child could not eat the quantity of salt voluntarily thatwould cause the deadly levels presented.”
Sgt. Gibson says he still doesn’t know who made Lauren eatthe salt. But believes it was a form of punishment.
Italian-born air brush and graphic design artist Simone Millo is chasing a dream.
A child who was found unresponsive on the city's south side early Monday morning has died.
An old elementary school building in southern Indiana's Brown County will soon have a new industrial occupant.