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Police Investigate Severe Child Abuse Claims; Couple Threatened

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A police investigation into claims of severe child abuse against a 3-year-old prompted the removal of six children from a Springfield home, and now the attorney representing the couple involved says his clients are being threatened.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A police investigation into claims of severe child abuse against a 3-year-old prompted the removal of six children from a Springfield home, and now the attorney representing the couple involved says his clients are being threatened.

According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by KOLR 10 News, the investigation started Dec. 26, but no criminal charges have been filed. KOLR 10 News is not identifying the couple involved because they have not been accused of a crime.

Family court officials said the six children were removed from the home after the 3-year-old was brought to Mercy hospital by her grandmother.

The attorney for the couple involved in the case, Kyle Wyatt, said the two deny all of the claims made in the search warrant. The affidavit states the 3-year-old had scratches and bruises all over her body, possible infection and even malnourishment.

"It's impossible for anyone to say this exactly happened or this exactly happened, all right? Way too premature," Wyatt said.

Wyatt said the child's grandmother made the initial accusations. He said he found many discrepancies in the accusations.
 
"A doctor has to disclose what is being told, but that's not a medical diagnosis. The medical diagnosis of this child was cellulitis," Wyatt said.  "The allegations being made is that the child was being starved, yet medical records would show the child was in the 95th percentile or 97th percentile."

The warrant also contains information from interviews conducted at the Child Advocacy Center with children who lived in the home,  which allege the 3-year-old was once tied to a chair and thrown down steps, also locked in a "cage" kept in the home's basement and that the children were sometimes denied food and beaten.

The attorney said the couple denies all of those allegations as well. He said no evidence to substantiate the claims exists.

"I would tell you from our position nothing has been found," Wyatt said. 

The Springfield Police Department released a statement to KOLR 10.

"We're working on the investigation, and we expect to present charges to prosecutors fairly soon," the statement read.

Wyatt said that since the case was made public, his clients have received death threats. A Molotov cocktail was thrown onto their porch Thursday morning.

"Their house was attempted to be caught on fire by someone. That's the reality we have, we pose judgement first before looking into the facts."

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