A dad and his live-in girlfriend have been arrested after the man’s daughter was hospitalized while “severely malnourished, emaciated and frail,” according to the Camden Police Department in Arkansas.
Both Antwon Davidson and Janecia Moore turned themselves in on July 9, which was the same day the department issued a warrant for their arrest. The couple was wanted for attempted murder, domestic battery and permitting abuse on a minor.
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The warrant was issued three days after Moore had taken Davidson’s 5-year-old daughter to the hospital, according to a release from the department. Moore said the girl fell down stairs and was complaining of neck pain.
But when medical staff noticed how thin the girl was, police were called.
“When officers entered the exam room, they noticed the child was very ‘bony’ and undersize for her age,” the release states.
The girl was then transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where she was “crying out for food and drink,” police said.
While in a hospital room, she was given a sandwich, police said. But when she “ate it too slow,” Moore took it away and gave it to the girl’s brother instead.
The girl told medical staff that when she doesn’t eat food fast enough, her “daddy” will throw it away, the release states.
She also told staff that, “They put salt in my rice, they put a big spoon full of salt in my rice and make me eat it.” That explained why the girl had high sodium and chloride levels that were consistent with salt poisoning, police said.
“The doctor reports that sodium was so high it was likely to have caused permanent injury or death,” the release states.
Those high sodium levels caused “an intense thirst drive,” so the girl would sneak water from the toilet — and then she would get in trouble, police said. She wasn’t allowed to drink after 6 p.m.
Police said the girl had burn marks on her upper thighs and bruising on her back side, and the girl showed signs of both abuse and neglect.