RIPLEY, W.Va.—The lead investigator in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 10-month-old baby testified that he has no doubt the man raped and murdered the girl.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Jackson County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger said Thursday, March 14, that Benjamin Taylor had blood on his torso and a wet spot on his pants when officers were called to the home in 2016.
— WOWK 13 News (@WOWK13News) March 13, 2019
The woman testified that she found him shirtless with his pants unbuttoned and leaning over her naked, injured daughter. The infant died days later.
— Eyewitness News (@wchs8fox11) March 15, 2019
Mellinger testified that Taylor had been looking for pornography online, told officers he has “episodes” when he blacks out, and hadn’t noticed the blood on the baby.
Back in Jackson County today for day 2 of the Benjamin Taylor trial. Head over to my Twitter, @ WSAZLeanneS for minute by minute updates.
An estimated 674,000 children were determined to be victims of maltreatment in 2017, according to the Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.
Of the victims, about 75 percent were neglected, 18 percent were physically abused, and 9 percent were sexually abused.
Nationwide, an estimated 1,720 children died from abuse and neglect, a decline from the 1,750 children who died from the same in the previous year.
Officials said there was an increase in the number of referrals to Child Protective Services for an investigation but that there was a decline in the number of maltreatment cases, a phenomenon they will be probing.
Of the abused children, 25 percent were younger than 1 year old. Another 52 percent were between 1 year old and 5 years old.
The children who were killed by abuse or neglect were also overwhelmingly young, with about half of the fatalities being younger than 1 year old. Boys made up 58 percent of the deaths.
Perpetrators of abuse or neglect are most often in the 25 to 34 age range. More than four-fifths (83.4 percent) of the perpetrators were between 18 and 44 years old. Perpetrators were more likely to be female.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so officials can investigate and assess the situation. Most states have a number to call to report abuse or neglect.
To find out where to call, consult the State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers website.
The Childhelp organization can also provide crisis assistance and other counseling and referral services. Contact them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).
“Every year more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children (a referral can include multiple children),” according to Childhelp.