Police: 4-Year-Old Girl Starved, Beaten, Tied to Bed - 8 News NOW

Police: 4-Year-Old Girl Starved, Beaten, Tied to Bed

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Laketha Moore, 36 Laketha Moore, 36

NORTH LAS VEGAS -- It started as a routine maintenance check at Loma Vista Apartments Monday.

First, a worker found a belt connecting the bathroom and bedroom doors.

When the worker went inside, a starving 4-year-old girl was discovered tied up and surrounded by filth.

"Laketha Moore was allegedly leaving her daughter tied to a bed in her bedroom, and locked in there for hours, 10 to 12 hours a day, five to seven days a week," North Las Vegas spokeswoman Chrissie Coon said.

According to the arrest report, the girl said she was hungry because "Mommy ties me up all the time."

Her injuries were repulsive and included a black eye, cuts on her nose, cheek, a bruised rib cage, back, ankles and matted hair.

"This is a heartbreaking case where a little girl ultimately has suffered for probably many months before it was actually brought to someone's attention," Coon said.

Moore, 36, is charged with 31 counts of child abuse for each day she left her daughter alone.

Whether it was church or work, the single mother confessed to police that she abandoned her daughter, claiming the girl was a picky eater and "probably wouldn't eat the food anyway."

The arrest report said Moore tied her daughter up because she would often ransack their home and she placed a plastic bin beside the bed so the girl could urinate.

Moore also told police her daughter would often black out while she routinely beat her with a belt, striking her anywhere the belt landed.

Counselors said the girl will have difficulty erasing the abuse from her memory.

"Emotional scars are far worse than a physical being, because those memories stay with you," said Michael Smith, a licensed abuse counselor at Creative Life Behavioral Health Services.

Smith said such crimes must be stopped.

"It's important that we as a community recognize the signs and don't hesitate to speak up about it," he said. "People know something's wrong, but won't say anything, especially within families."

Police said Moore's kitchen, despite the girl's hunger, was stocked with a variety of food.

The girl has been placed in child protective custody until she can be placed with a relative or foster home.

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