For most parents, keeping their children safe is the top priority.
However, other parents have different things in mind. Fortunately for this child, she had a step-grandmother who loved her dearly when her father and his girlfriend couldn’t.
The worried grandma, Linda Benskey, had not seen her step-granddaughter in months that her fear quickly grew.
Benskey called cops and asked them to check on her stepson’s North Carolina home to make sure the 5-year-old child named Angel was okay.
What officers discovered shocked the whole community.
Angel was found locked in a closet under the stairs, covered in filth. It was evident that she had been badly burned and beaten.
Cops asked the girl’s former caregiver, Tracy Harrell, from a daycare to join them in their search.
“Her feet were black, her little hands were shaky. She had bit all her nails down until they were bleeding. Hair was shaved, what wasn’t had been pulled out so she had bald spots all over her head. Her face was dirty and cut up. She had bruises around her neck,” Harrell said.
Angel who once had beautiful blonde curls and shining blue eyes was almost unrecognizable. Officers were not sure how long the girl had been locked under the stairs.
When Harrell asked the girl when the last time she had a meal, her response was “I don’t remember.”
“There was never a day when she left and she wouldn’t say, ‘I love you miss Tracy,’” Harrell recalled from her time as the child’s caregiver.
After Angel was rescued, the caregiver said: “She clung to me and wrapped her arms around me. I had her laying here and she kept saying ‘please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.’”
The child’s father, Adam Byrd, and girlfriend, Crystal Carnahan, were arrested and charged with neglect, abuse and assault.
“I hope that she gets put into a loving home and gets to be a normal little girl, not having to worry about when her next meal is coming or when a beating is going to happen or when her next burn is going to happen,” Harrell added. “Just hope she doesn’t have to know this fear ever again.”
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