An Arizona woman is behind bars facing numerous charges after she allegedly abused her 10-year-old stepdaughter, then threatened the other children into lying to police.
AZfamily.com reports that 36-year-old Erin Darr was arrested Thursday night after her stepdaughter’s classmates reported bruises spotted on the little girl’s body. Afterward, the little girl described her horrifying living conditions that prompted a case worker to remove the child from the home in early December.
According to court documents, the case worker noticed the girl was underweight, had thinning hair, and red marks and scars on her body. The girl explained that her thinning hair “was due to her hair being ripped off her head when [Darr] pulled her by her hair.”
When the caseworker asked the child about visible scarring on her body, the girl said it “was from when [Darr] hit her with a phone on the head and she bled.” The girl said Darr later “super glued her head shut on that occasion.”
When the little girl was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation, she told doctors she had a difficult time breathing because Darr kicked her in the chest numerous times. Medical staff also noticed “several scars on her scalp, pre-existing injuries to her hand and feet … blisters in her mouth from eating food that was too hot … [and] bruising on her face.”
Court documents indicated that the child was made to eat “rotten food” and when she threw up, Darr would force her to eat her own vomit. The stepmother is also accused of putting hot sauce and horseradish sauce in the girl’s food, then forcing her to eat it.
Darr is also accused of stomping on the girl’s feet until they bled, pulling her fingers backwards, slamming her head into a laundry room wall, and slamming her hand into a car door.
Authorities interviewed other children in the home, including the girl’s teen brother, who admittedly lied to case workers and to police initially after Darr threatened him if he spoke about the alleged abuse. The teen later apologized and said Darr “told him and his younger brothers … to lie to DCS and detectives when being interviewed and coached the family about what to say during the previous investigations.”
According to Tucson’s NBC4, the boy said Darr told him if he said anything about the ongoing reported abuse in the home, she would make him go live with his biological father, who allegedly abused him a few years back. He also claimed Darr “had pulled him and his two older sisters … out of school to prevent them from talking about the abuse in the home.”
The older brother’s description of the abuse matched what the young girl told authorities. The other children have also reportedly been removed from the home.
When confronted, Darr reportedly claimed she never hit any of the children and denied any form of abuse. She’s facing charges of child abuse, child endangerment, witness tampering, and obstruction of a criminal investigation.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Erin Darr/Pinellas County Adult Detention Center]