A Michigan mom and her fiancé were charged with child abuse and homicide on Tuesday after their "makeshift swaddle" of duct tape and blankets apparently resulted in the death of the woman's 4-year-old daughter.
Kelly Ballinger, 33, and Matthew Longenecker, 34, discovered the girl wasn't breathing early Sunday morning, People magazine reported, and police were called to Longenecker's mother's home, where they were staying. The child had CPR performed on her for an hour before she was pronounced dead.
Her body was covered in bruises and the detective believed she had experienced significant trauma.
The couple was questioned by police and they confessed to "swaddling" the daughter for the past two weeks using duct tape and blankets to restrain her to the bed. The blankets sometimes covered the girl's face, but restrained by the duct tape, she was unable to move until the next morning, when her parents would unwrap her.
Her face was covered the night of the girl's death, the mother confessed.
The girl's death was ruled a homicide by a police pathologist and the two other children in the home were taken into Child Protective Services. The couple has not yet entered a plea.
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