A horrific case of alleged child abuse has law enforcement officials wishing they could file more charges against a couple in San Antonio, Texas.
“Based on the level of outright torture this baby had to endure, I wish there was something more we could charge them with,” said Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar to reporters.
Police said that 31-year-old Amanda Mann and 30-year-old Dustin Michael Lawrence abused their 1-year-old girl in a horrific manner.
The child was allegedly burned on Friday night with boiling water, but rather than seek medical help, the couple waited for more than 24 hours. During that time, they allegedly injected the baby with meth numerous times in order to mask the pain from the burns.
Salazar said they are investigating whether the burns were intentional or accidental.
The following day, police say Mann took the child to a hospital but abandoned her there.
Officials said the baby tested positive for meth and had between 14 and 18 syringe marks. The burns were so bad that her skin was coming off, according to police.
The child only weighed 18 pounds when she was abandoned. She is fighting for her life in the hospital.
“Hopefully this baby’s gonna make it, that’s certainly what we’re all praying for right now,” Salazar continued, “but should something else happen to that baby, I can guarantee you we will run to upgrade charges on these folks.”
Police said other children lived in “filthy conditions” at the RV with Mann and Lawrence, including another child who tested positive for meth.
“They had a living hell,” Salazar said.
Mann and Lawrence were charged with a long list of offenses, including four counts of abandoning/endangering a child with intent, endangering a child, endangering a child risking bodily injury, and injury to a child resulting in serious bodily injury-reckless.
Bonds were set for each of the couple at $450,000.
The children were placed in Child Protective Services.
“We have literally thrown every possible charge we could,” Salazar concluded. “I hope to God they stay in jail for the better part of the rest of their lives based on what we’ve seen.”
Here’s a local news report about the horrific incident:
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