DEVELOPING: Couple Charged with Abusing Girl by Hitting Her with Ax 

A Ray County, Missouri, man and his girlfriend face charges after allegedly abusing the man’s 9-year-old niece for months

Mario Allen Barreto, 29, has been charged with 29 counts of abuse and neglect of a child in Ray County. Melissa Holloway, 25, has also been charged with 22 counts of abuse and neglect of a child. The 9-year-old was taken to the hospital with a serious hand injury. Doctors examined the girl and found that she had a crushing injury to three fingers on her right hand, requiring surgery and amputation of part of her ring finger.

The girl had several other injuries, including fractures in her arm, wrist and seven ribs, bruising, scarring, multiple cuts and other signs of traumatic injury. Medical personnel determined the 9-year-old was the victim of frequent abuse and had not had any medical care. The girl told officials her uncle caused all the injuries.

The girl stated that when Barreto came home and found she hadn’t finished chopping wood as he told her to, he made her put her hand on a fallen tree and hit her hand with the back side of an ax head. The 9-year-old told officials Holloway was aware of her numerous injuries but did nothing to stop him or help her.

The girl said all the alleged abuse began after her ninth birthday and lasted for approximately six months.

Source: Couple charged with abusing 9-year-old girl, frequently hitting her with ax | WPMT FOX43

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