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A mother has reportedly had her child abuse charges upgraded weeks after she and her boyfriend were first arrested for abusing her 5-year-old daughter.
Alexandra Ebey, 37, was originally charged with child neglect last December, according to News4Jax. Now authorities have added aggravated abuse to her crimes, claiming the Florida mother and her boyfriend locked the woman's child in a closet for 25 days.
A neighbor called authorities when she hadn’t seen the child in several weeks, according to First Coast News.
“We wanted to see the girl because nobody has seen her, and that was the tipping point,” said the neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous. “I saw her; she was in a blanket and could barely even walk.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families notified police on Dec. 14, 2021, according to an arrest report cited by News4Jax. Investigators visited the Westside home where they found the emaciated child, who’d sustained such extensive open wounds that skin was falling off her body in places.
The child was transferred to the Wolfson Children’s Hospital and treated for malnourishment, News4Jax reported. In the hospital’s care, the young girl told investigators with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that she was “handcuffed and tied down.” According to an arrest report obtained by the news outlet, the child claimed she was made to use a bucket as a toilet while held captive in a closet for 25 days.
Ebey’s boyfriend, Kenneth Trout, 38, was arrested on Dec. 22, 2021, according to News4Jax. He was also charged with child neglect and aggravated child abuse.
“I’m hoping that they go through for the fullest extent,” one neighbor told the outlet.
Investigators spoke with the girl’s brothers, who claimed their sister was “always in trouble,” according to Trout’s arrest warrant. Neighbors said the two young boys acted as parents to the victim.
“I was over there the other day, and the little girl was saying that she was worried about starving to death when she was going to sleep, and she shouldn’t have to worry about when her next meal is coming,” the neighbor continued.
The child was released from the hospital last Friday. She and her three brothers are now in the care of their grandparents.
Ebey and Trout remain in custody at the Duval County Jail. Both are scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 13.
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