21-year-old Tineisha Butler and her 25-year-old boyfriend, Lakendrick Holley, have been charged in connection with an alleged case of abuse of Butler's 2-year-old daughter in Choctaw County, Ala.
"It was one of the worst child abuse cases I've ever seen," said Sheriff James Lovette.
Lovette said the investigation was prompted after emergency workers responded to a call at 307 Spring Drive in Butler.
"They called and said the child was sick and there were some marks, and they said she had fell," said Lovette.
Lovette says severe bruises were visible and the child was transported to a hospital in Meridian.
"It was basically just that they were beating the child, with belts. They were actually, from what we understand, they were maybe starving this child, too," said the sheriff. "Sometimes possibly two to three days (at a time) they said."
Sheriff Lovette says it's possible that the abuse went on for a year or longer.
The sheriff also said Butler had a 3-year-old who lived in the house. He says there were no signs of that child being abused, but with the investigation ongoing, the child has been removed from the home.
Lovette says Butler is now 9 months pregnant. With the investigation ongoing, once that child is born, he said it will immediately be placed within the custody of a relative.
Since being arrested Butler and Holley have bonded out of jail for $50,000 each. Their cases are expected to go before a grand jury in February.
"I think there's no doubt about it, we've got a good case against them," said Lovette.