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December 15, 2011

Sheriff issues statement on child abuse case

Mother, boyfriend charged with injury to a child

GREENVILLE — Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks issued the following statement this afternoon concerning a reported child abuse case his office is investigating:

Two arrests were made late Wednesday concerning a reported child abuse case. Investigators with the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office have been investigating this case for the last week. We received a call from the Hunt Regional Medical Center on December 7, 2011 that a two year old child was being treated for injuries that were initially reported as being received after falling out of a first floor residential window. The mother of the child reported that the fall occurred sometime during the overnight hours. Upon initial observations, the child was found to have bruising to its forehead, both sides of the head, the neck, chest, abdomen, both arms and both legs.

The injuries observed by the deputies seem inconsistent with the actions that were reported to have created the bruising. Investigators were called to the emergency room to continue the investigation. Child Protective Services were also contacted and responded to the hospital. The child had multiple tests conducted by medical staff and found that the child needed to be transported to another hospital for further treated. The two year old was transported to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

Further interviews with the mother revealed that her boyfriend was living with them at the time of the report. Interviews with the mother and boyfriend indicated that they believed that the child opened an outside window and fell to the ground during the night.

However, investigators and medical staff believed that the injuries sustained by the two year old child were the results of an assault. A search warrant was conducted at the residence where the three were living in West Tawakoni.     

As a result of the interviews and the investigation up to this point, Erin Elizabeth Saari Age 22 of West Tawakoni and Trevor Scott Copeland Age 23 of West Tawakoni were both arrested and charged with the offense of Injury to a Child. Both Copeland and Saari were arraigned and bail was set at $1,000,000. each.

Currently the child’s medical condition is listed as critical as the child is on a ventilator.

“For the life of me, I do not understand how or why these types of crimes exist. I’ve been in law enforcement for 35 years and I still never get use to these child abuse cases.” Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks

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