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Neighbors remain silent over alleged Henrico child abuse case

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HENRICO, Va. (WTVR)— Neighbors in the Essex Village apartments in Eastern Henrico are silent over an alleged child abuse case involving a 3-year old girl

The child remains in the hospital, receiving care. Henrico police arrested 23-year-old Terrell Cook over the weekend after detectives said he called for medical assistance complaining of a sick child.

Investigators said she was rushed to VCU Medical Center.

"Personnel there said there were some visible injuries to the child's upper body in several locations.  So, police were called to investigate,” Lt. Linda Toney, Henrico Police spokesperson, said.

But Lt. Linda Toney would not tell us what led up to the alleged abuse or describe the child's injuries; she said it's part of the investigation.

Other allegations of child abuse cases have been reported in Henrico, like the mother accused of putting her newborn in a dryer.

While these situations maybe different, experts said there is a disturbing pattern when it comes to child abuse.

"Often times, they haven't bonded in a positive way with that child,” Jeanine Harper, Executive Director of Stop Child Abuse Now said. “And so, they're really not seeing that child as a child.”

“They really see it as something they want to control, Harper continued. “They don't want them to get in their way.”

Harper said that 80 percent of kids under age five are most at risk for serious injury or even death from abuse and neglect.

She says the economy could play a big factor when it comes to abuse.

"We know that the environment that we're living in now is a high stress environment.  And we need to be even more vigilante than ever to make sure that parents are getting support and education and are being protected,” Harper said.

Henrico Police said that Terrell Cook is a relative of the 3 year-old girl.  He remains behind bars until his next hearing on November 19th at the Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations court.

Cook faces malicious wounding and child neglect.