Formal charges against a Muncie couple accused in the death of a 5-year-old girl could be filed as early as Wednesday.
Marcus Tabb, 53, and 29-year-old Charlene Tabb were arrested Sunday and preliminarily charged with neglect causing bodily injury. On Monday, though, Delaware County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold upgraded the charges to a Class A felony charge of neglect of a dependent causing death.
Police responded to the home along Brady Street late Saturday night.
Inside, officers found a 5-year-old girl lying on her back in the kitchen-dining area unresponsive and not breathing.
Her death was declared a homicide on Monday.
Officers said the girl had multiple untreated injuries, a possible skull fracture and open sores on both of her hands. Investigators also found odd markings on her chest which appeared to have been caused by pliers.
People living in the neighborhood hope police and prosecutors do everything they can in the case.
“To make sure this baby has justice, she’ll never be alive to receive it, but at least she’ll be in heaven to see it,” said one woman who did not want to be identified.
Evon Smith, who lives four houses down, said the young girl is now at peace after living a nightmare.
“There was a soul needed in heaven, and the honest answer is God called her, so in mourning there could be celebration. It’s just how you look at it,” said Smith.
“She doesn’t have to go through what she was going through any more.”
It appears the child was tortured inside the home. Investigators said the child had been abused for a prolonged period of time.
She had been living in the home for about a year.
Fox59 News learned Charlene was taking care of the young girl after the child was abandoned by her family, who still live in Haiti.
The four other children living at the home were placed with child services.