Maricopa County has been identified as one of the worst counties in the nation for child abuse, domestic violence, and judicial corruption and cronyism. Click on the Arizona tag below for just a sampling of recent cases.
Child Abuse Cases Climbing in Chandler
Updated: Wednesday, 21 Oct 2009, 7:37 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 21 Oct 2009, 7:37 PM MDT
CHANDLER - It's a sobering statistic. In the past six years, more than 10,000 children in the United States have died of child abuse or neglect. In the valley, Chandler Police say they've seen a spike in recent months.
Last month, a 3-week-old girl died after being beaten and sexually abused, allegedly at the hands of her own father.
Before that, a man was charged with first-degree murder for beating his girlfriend's 3-year-old to death with a belt buckle. The girl's mother was also charged.
In July, a 21-year-old man was indicted in the beating death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter. The girl's mother was also arrested in connection to the abuse.
In the past two years, Chandler has seen four children die from abuse. Three of those deaths occurred in the last three months -- and all the victims were 3-years-old or younger. And in all of the recent cases, the parents were 26 or younger.
"Each situation is a little bit different, but they all died in the hands of their caretakers," says Chandler Police Detective Nathan Moffat. "There's unemployment, there's a lot of things that lead to it... underage parents or young parents, with limited life skills themselves... you really can't get into the mind of why somebody would do this."
The city is teaming up with Maricopa County agencies like Child Help to develop an awareness and prevention program.