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News Release

Friday, June 13, 2008

Media Relations

Police Look for Two Women Who Severely Abused Their 5-Year-Old Son

(Update)

The two women responsible for torturing a 5-year-old boy are now in custody. 24-year-old Starkeisha Brown turned herself in at LAPD’s 77th Jail late Friday night. 21-year-old Krystal Matthews was arrested by detectives when she showed up for her Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) appointment following the LAPD news conference requesting the public’s help finding these two women. Brown was arrested and held in custody without bail as she faces one charge of torturing. Matthews was charged with willful harm or injury to a child. Her bail was set at $100,000. The Los Angeles Police Department would like to thank the members of the media and the public for their efforts that led to the capture of these two vicious criminals. As this was a crime that touched everyone's hearts, the number of those individuals that continue to assist the police Department is greatly appreciated.

Los Angeles: Detectives from Juvenile Division investigate a case of extreme child abuse.

A 5-year-old boy was subjected to unbearable physical and psychological abuse at the hand of his natural mother, Starkeisha Brown and her live-in girlfriend, Krystal Matthews. The victim and suspects were living in the area of 110th Street and Figueroa.

Through the detectives’ investigation, it was learned that the suspects routinely beat the child, burned him on stove, inflicted multiple cigarette burns to his body including his genital area, left him to sit in his own urine, allowed an exposed nerve in his tooth to go untreated and denied him basic nourishment and water. Lieutenant Vincent Neglia of the LAPD’s Abused Child Unit, says "the treatment of this 5-year-old is akin to a level of torture we hope our military personnel would never encounter, yet this treatment came to this child at the hands of those on a position of trust." The child was hospitalized on Monday and his medical conditioned remains guarded.

The case first came to the attention of law enforcement when the family was called in for an appointment with the Department of Children Services (DCS). During the appointment, Brown and Matthews brought a healthy child of a mutual friend and tried to pass off that child as the victim. At the same time as the DCS appointment, a completely unrelated stranger found our victim abandoned and notified authorities.

Both suspects have a history of violence and should not be approached by members of the public. Brown is 24-years-old, stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. Matthews is 21-years-old, stands 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds.

The LAPD and detectives from the Abused Child Unit are asking for the community’s help to locate Starkeisha Brown and Krystal Matthews. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Juvenile Division, Detectives Norma Zamora or Maria Singh at 213-485-4220. On weekends and during off-hours, calls may be directed to the 24-hour, toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855). CALLERS MAY REMAIN ANONYMOUS.

If you would like to make a donation for the 5-year-old boy, you can contact DCFS Michael Wrice at 213-739-6202.


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