Share story

CAMDEN, Mo. (AP) — A northwest Missouri couple is charged with more than 50 felony counts of child abuse and neglect involving a 9-year-old girl.

Ray County authorities say the girl was abused for months, including allegedly being struck with an ax.

The Kansas City Star reports 29-year-old Mario Barreto, of Camden, is charged with 29 counts of child abuse or neglect. And 25-year-old Melissa Holloway, also of Camden, faces 22 counts of child abuse or neglect and one count of hindering prosecution. The child was in the care of Barreto, a relative of the girl.

Both pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Court records indicate the girl was hospitalized in February with several injuries, including fingers on her right hand that were allegedly crushed with an ax head.

Online court records don’t indicate the couple has attorneys.


Information from: The Kansas City Star,