Mother Of Slain Child Released On Bond - WNCN: News, Weather

Mother Of Slain Child Released On Bond

By Jake Seaton

The mother of a slain 4-year-old posted bond Thursday night after she was charged with negligent child abuse.

Helen Reyes, 27, posted a $50,000 bond at 10 p.m, after being charged with negligent child abuse causing serious bodily injury in the July 19, death of her daughter, Teghan Skiba.

The Johnston County District Attorney's office asked that the bond be increased to $250,000, explaining that Reyes was a "flight risk," because she is in the Army Reserve and has family out of state. The judge denied the increase and ordered Reyes not leave the state until the matter is resolved.

Authorities said Skiba suffered cuts, lacerations, bite marks, head trauma and sexual assault injuries. She was transported to an area hospital July 16, by Jonathan Richardson, who now faces first-degree murder charges in the child's death.

Reyes "had first-hand knowledge that this type of abuse had occurred prior to July 5 by Jonathan Richardson," an arrest warrant for Reyes states.

The warrant also states that Reyes subjected her daughter to "verbal threats, intimidation, forced consumption of alcohol, severe physical beatings and assault by biting."

The three had been living in a barn behind the home of Richardson's grandparents, Wade and Helen Creech, near Smithfield. The barn had no bathroom, no running water and a single air mattress on the floor for sleeping, Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.

Wake County Human Services said in a report Wednesday that Reyes failed "to protect her child and to entrust her child to an appropriate caretaker."

Social workers substantiated that Reyes abused the girl by leaving her in Richardson's custody.

"The finding concerning Ms. Reyes does not mean that she personally inflicted injuries on Teghan," the report stated. "The definition of abuse in (state law) includes creating or allowing to be created a substantial risk of serious physical injury by other than accidental means."

Richardson, who initially told hospital workers that Teghan had fallen off the bed, later told Johnston County investigators that he whipped the girl with a cord after she went to the bathroom in the bed they were share, according to search warrants.

He explained that he is "bipolar and little things set him off."

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