Editor’s Note: Many readers will find the contents of this article disturbing.
Two Camden residents have been charged with the attempted murder of a five-year-old girl.
The girl is the daughter of one of the suspects, Antwan Alvin Davidson. Davidson, 28, and his girlfriend, Janecia Kuame Moore, 27, turned themselves over to Camden police on Monday night after warrants were issued for their arrests on the attempted murder count, and charges of domestic battery in the first degree, and permitting the abuse of a minor.
Camden Police Detective LaRhonda Moore said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that police went to the Ouachita County Medical Center emergency room on Friday. Janecia Moore told ER staff that the child had fallen down stairs and that her neck hurt.
Medical staff were concerned about the child’s weight. She was transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital for further evaluation.
ACH officials reported to the Camden detective that the child was severely malnourished, emaciated and frail with sunken facial features. She was crying out for food and drink upon her arrival at the Little Rock hospital.
“The young child reported to staff she was not allowed to drink after 6 p.m. because she ‘potty’s on herself.’ The staff noted her upper thighs had circular burn marks and bruising on her back side,” Detective Moore’s statement said.
ACH staff told the detective that when the child was placed in a hospital room, she was allowed to have a sandwich, “but she ate it too slow so (Janecia) Moore took it from her and gave it to her brother. The young child told the staff about her Pop Tarts being cold and her brother gets his warmed up, (and) when she doesn’t eat it fast enough her ‘Daddy’ throws it in the trash.
The girl was moved into the ACH Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for severe malnutrition, dehydration and hypernatremia. “Her electrolytes were remarkably high for sodium. The doctor reports the sodium was so high it was likely to have caused permanent injury or death if the conditions persisted without medical intervention,” Detective Moore’s statement said.
The statement said Antwan Davidson and Janecia Moore put large amounts of salt in the child’s rice and forced her to eat it.
The child’s disclosure about her salt intake explained “extraordinarily high sodium and chlorine levels and is consistent with salt poisoning, which is a dangerous and potentially fatal mechanism of poisoning. The doctor says high levels would result in an intense thirst drive, which explains why the child had gotten in trouble at home,” Detective Moore said.
“The summarized report from the Children’s Hospital is consistent with physical abuse and neglect, and the child would be at grave risk of serious injury or death in her home environment,” Detective Moore’s statement said.
Davidson and Janecia Moore are being held at the Ouachita County Jail pending a court appearance.
They were both the subjects of a regional "be on the lookout" watch on Monday night before they turned themselves in at the Camden Police Department.