According to the Waynesville Police Department, officers recently were notified about a student who found their younger sibling “unconscious and unresponsive” at their home.
Officers went to the home in Waynesville and another sibling answered the door and said her younger sister was dead, police said.
Police entered the home and located the young victim under a blanket in the living room with rope marks on her ankles, wrists and neck, KOLR-TV reported.
Officers also discovered a blood-covered sock near her body and three lengths of rope, according to police.
The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.
The reporting child claimed his stepmother woke him up and that's when he noticed his younger sister tied to a futon, KOLR-TV reported.
The child told officers that the victim would often steal food in the middle of the night, so the suspects, identified as Angela West and Shamira Buford, would tie up the child as punishment, police said.
West had a bad back, so she would have the other children help her tie the victim to the futon at times, according to KOLR-TV.
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When talking to police, Buford said the child “continued to steal food and that they tried numerous things to get her to stop,” KOLR-TV reported.
Officials said the suspects attempted to restrain the victim by duct-taping the child’s wrists and ankles and eventually “hogtying” her and putting socks in the victim’s mouth to keep her quiet.
West and Buford were arrested and booked into the Pulaski County Jail without bond. They were charged with felony murder, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child and child abuse, officials said.
Officers did not disclose details about the relationship between the victim and the two female suspects.
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