Friends rally round for two-year-old child abuse victim
By Anna Phillips | November 5, 2020 at 6:04 PM EST – Updated November 6 at 9:36 PM
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A two-year-old girl is recovering from open heart surgery resulting from alleged abuse in Brunswick County.
Arrest warrants show deputies charged the girl’s mother, Stephanie Ross, with felony negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and a misdemeanor count of failing to prevent and report abuse on October 28. A judge set her bond at $100,000.
Ross’ boyfriend, Brett Fox, is charged with one misdemeanor count of child abuse as well as one count of failing to prevent and report abuse. His total bond is $3,500.
The warrant for Ross’ arrest says the child did not receive appropriate medical care for a fractured arm.
Upon evaluation, a family friend tells WECT more serious health concerns were found including an aneurysm that required open heart surgery.
The girl’s father, Tim Ritchie, is now fighting for full custody of the girl and her brother.
Family friends are desperate to raise money and supplies to support him. They say he’s been out of work since the onset of the pandemic in March.
The girl is expected to remain in the hospital for at least two weeks before her dad plans to take her home to Columbus County.
Editor’s Note: This is a sensitive case and WECT will not be using the girl’s name.
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