West Virginia residents were shocked as information concerning what is being called one the worst recorded child abuse cases in state history became public.
Some information released indicates that mother Sabrina Smith was arrested and held on $500,000 bond. Her roommate Amanda Wills, a teacher, was also arrested. The Register Herald reports that the two women are being charged with multiple felony counts of “child abuse with substantial injury, child neglect with substantial risk of death, and attempted murder of a child by parent, guardian or custodian by refusal or failure to supply necessities.”
Reports indicate that the child’s mother and siblings tortured her. The parent explained that she was punishing the girl for stealing food. Punishment for the six year old included being zip-tied to an unpadded car seat, sized for a toddler. This allegedly went on for hours every day. The girl weighed less than twenty pounds. When examined by doctors, the first-grade aged child was measured on an infant scale. Smith claimed that the child had an illness, which caused her significant lack of mass and restricted diet. The Charleston Gazette reports, “According to Beckley Police Chief of Detectives Jeff Shumate, the girl’s core temperature had dropped to 80 and her blood sugar was listed at 2. Normal blood sugar levels range from 80 to 120.”
The child did not attend school and her mother claimed that she was home schooled. According to the legal website of Susan K. Smith, attorney, (not involved in the case), “All states require certain professionals and institutions to report suspected child abuse, including …teachers and other school personnel, social workers, day care providers and law enforcement personnel.” The document goes on to explain that failure to report can result in a criminal or civil liability. Although the child did not attend a public school, there was a teacher in the home. In addition any charges pressed against her, Wills is also guilty of the moral crime of aiding in the continued torture of one small child by standing and allowing the unnecessary and cruel deeds listed to take place. One call to Child Protective Services could have saved this child a lot of pain and suffering.
No formal reports regarding the mother’s mental stability or lifestyle are currently available. In a video interview, made available by WSAZ News Channel 3, Sabrina Smith claimed that she loves her children and will do whatever it takes to get them back. All the children are currently residing in foster care. The young girl, a survivor of a real-life horror story, is also in state care. She has reportedly gained a significant amount of weight, finally safe from maternal harm.
If you honestly believe that a child is being abused sexually, mentally, or physically, please report it to Child Protective Services or your local abuse hotline and share any factual information you have recorded. You may save a life.
The Register Herald
WSAZ News Channel 3
The Charleston Gazette
WVVA News Amanda Wills Article
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect by Susan K. Smith, Attorney