Police cite "torturous abuse" of 4-year-old girl; Edmonton couple charged
By CTV.ca News Staff, CTV.ca, December 17, 2005

CANADA: Edmonton couple charged in child abuse case

The Edmonton police are describing a recently-discovered abuse case of a four-year-old girl as the most horrific they have ever seen.

Police have charged a 21-year-old mother and 24-year-old stepfather of a little girl who police say was so badly abused she had to resort to drinking liquid fertilizer to quench her thirst.

"She had been handcuffed to furniture ... she was deprived of water and would pretty much drink any type of liquid that was available," police spokesperson Karen Carlson told CTV Edmonton.

"In one case, she was observed seen drinking liquid plant fertilizer. Those types of things have been ongoing for a number of years."

On Dec. 7, Edmonton detectives got word of a case of child abuse happening in a home in the city's north end. When they arrived at the house, Carlson said they found clear evidence of "torturous-type (of) abuse" going on.

The girl is in the care of foster parents while her mother and stepfather have been arrested.

Carlson said although the girl appeared miraculously healthy physically, "there is definitely an indication of trauma. She is definitely displaying behaviour consistent with a child that has been through abuse for a very long time."

The mother's charges include assault, assault with a weapon, assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement and causing a child to be in need of intervention.

The stepfather faces the same charges, as well as additional charges of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.

They cannot be named in order to protect the child's identity under the Child Protection Act.

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