Bizarre Child Abuse Case - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Park Hills, MO

Bizarre Child Abuse Case

Bizarre Child Abuse Case
By:  CJ Cassidy

Park Hills, MO -- It's a bizarre child abuse case, the likes of which Heartland investigators have never seen before.

Police say 19-year-old Melisa Wellman of Park Hills,  faces first degree assault charges for seriously injuring her own daughter.

The actual investigation began earlier this month, but is far from over, and investigators continue working around the clock until they come up with some answers.

Police say Melisa Wellman shoved her daughter down a flight of stairs about nine feet high; ironically though investigators say that incident may have helped end a shocking cycle of abuse.

"It's the story of a little girl who had to stay in an attic," Chief Bill Holloway says.

"When doctors performed an x-ray they found the child sustained a serious skull fracture also numerous bruising on the child's back and inner thighs, along with some on her chest and stomach area," Lt. Doug Bowles adds.

That's not all. Doctors also found prior bruising underneath the child's skull.

To top it all, officers visited the child's house and discovered her mother made her sleep all the way up in the attic.

"We went up there with a thermometer and placed it in the attic, and within ten minutes already ninety degrees in attis," Lt. Bowles says.

"That was crazy, I couldn't believe somthing like that happened," Wellman's neighbor,  Alan Davis says.

He didn't even know Wellman had a daughter.   "Usually if you have two kids you have the one outside you usually have the other one too. The only thing I saw was the little boy. He was outside all the time, but I never saw the little girl,"Davis says.

"It's inconceivable. I have children of my own and I could not even imagine inflicting any type of injury on a child especially one that's just three years old," Davis adds.

Police say the little girl is recovering in foster care. They are now looking into whether Wellman's other son may have suffered any type of abuse as well.

The child's paternal grandparents were too upset to talk with us today, but say they hope the situation is quickly resolved.

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