5 charged in Miss. with abusing 4-year-old boy

Published 12:51 am Sunday, October 4, 2009

Five people have been charged with abusing a 4-year-old boy who has been hospitalized with internal injuries, cuts, bruises and broken teeth, authorities said.

The boy stayed with caregivers at a Hattiesburg home with nine other children, police said. The other children were removed Tuesday after police received an anonymous tip that kids may have been in danger.

“The child’s body was covered with new and old bruises, marks, cuts, and abrasions,” Hattiesburg police spokesman Synarus Green said in a statement. “A preliminary medical exam later showed the child had cuts on his head and body, broken teeth with damaged gums, and internal abdominal injuries caused by blunt trauma.”

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The home, which neighbors described as filthy with graffiti on the walls, was leased by 53-year-old Sue Miller and her 34-year-old daughter, Nancy Miller. They were charged Tuesday with felony child abuse along with Patricia Aguilar, 30; Francys Albertson, 20; and Christopher Lee, 37, all of Hattiesburg.

Green wouldn’t say Saturday if any of the suspects were related to the abused boy.

“Relationships are being reserved at this time to protect the identities of the children involved,” Green said. “We are saying they were the primary caregivers of the children.”

Authorities were looking for the child’s biological mother for questioning, Green said.

The Hattiesburg American newspaper reported that Municipal Court Judge Jolly Matthews set bond for the each of the suspects at $1 million during a hearing Friday. They are being held in the Forrest County jail. It wasn’t immediately clear if they had attorneys.