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Juvenile cousins of dead Indiana girl face charges

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 7:54 am

MUNCIE — The investigation into the death of a 5-year-old Muncie girl took a new turn Wednesday with charges filed against her two cousins, an 11-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.

The two face juvenile charges of aggravated battery in the death of the girl, The Star Press reported.

Delaware County Coroner Scott Hahn confirmed Wednesday the girl was born in Haiti. He has ruled her death a homicide.

Police discovered the girl lying unresponsive in the kitchen area of her home Saturday.

The juveniles have told police that some of the assaults were ordered by their older sister, Charlene Tabb, who with her husband, Marcus, faces a preliminary charge of neglect of a dependent causing death. The Tabbs have been held without bond in the Delaware County Jail, where records do not indicate whether they have an attorney.

Investigators say the 11-year-old and 14-year-old attacked the girl, with pliers, a hammer, a belt and screwdrivers, among other items. Police have said the victim's body had more than 80 marks or injuries.

Muncie Police Chief Steve Stewart has called it "one of the most horrific cases" he's seen in 28 years of police work.

The Tabbs were unofficial guardians of the 5-year-old. Court documents and police have said the couple assumed care of the girl in July 2012 because her father had abandoned her.