On January 31, the Maryland State Police issued a release saying that thanks to an anonymous tip, two horrifically bad moms in Wicomico County were arrested and charged with multiple counts of child abuse – abuse which involved their own children. Arrested were Amanda R. Wright, 29, and her girlfriend, Besline Joseph, 25. Both women and their three young children shared a residence in the 11000-block of Norris Twilley Road, in Mardela Springs, Maryland.
Both women are charged with three counts each of first degree child abuse, second degree child abuse, first degree assault, second degree assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a minor, stalking, use of a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, false imprisonment and one count each of causing ingestion of a bodily fluid, preventing/interfering with report of suspected child abuse or neglect, and conspiracy to commit first degree child abuse.
On January 26, 2018, information was received at the Maryland State Police Salisbury Barrack regarding allegations of child abuse involving the suspects. An investigation was immediately initiated by the Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division, in cooperation with Child Protective Services personnel assigned to the Wicomico Child Advocacy Center. Based on the allegations, Child Protective Services officials removed the three children from the home the night the investigation began.
Investigators determined the three victims, ages 8, 9 and 10, resided with Wright and her live-in girlfriend, Joseph. The investigation has revealed that since late spring or early summer of 2017, the three children endured physical beatings on multiple occasions from both suspects. The beatings are believed to have been inflicted with hands, extension cords, belts, sticks and other objects. The children sustained bloody noses, bruises and cuts. The investigation also revealed the suspects assaulted the children multiple times with an electronic control device, according to USA Today.
Police say the children were reportedly locked in closets and a basement. There was limited time when they were not confined. They were reportedly fed a diet of bread, water, oatmeal and, at times, were forced to eat dog feces. The children were said to have been threatened with death if they told anyone about the abuse.
“They were also starved, being fed a diet of only bread and water and some oatmeal from time to time again. Investigators learned they were forced to eat dog feces on occasion,” said Maj. Greg Shipley of Maryland State Police. ~ per WBAL-TV in Baltimore
During the search warrant service, investigators obtained an electronic control device. They also found other evidence that supported information developed during the investigation.
WBAL also quoted Major Shipley as saying, “Child abuse is a tragedy and it is something that, unfortunately, can occur in any neighborhood. We’ve seen it recently in the national news. Now (we) see it in a community like this, in Salisbury — Mardela Springs — a very rural community in a quiet area, but it can happen anywhere.”