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Muncie couple formally charged in girl's death

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Sunday, June 30, 2013 - 7:14 am

MUNCIE — A Muncie couple has been charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in the death of a 5-year-old girl in their home.

Charlene Tabb, 29, and Marcus Marcellus Tabb, 53, were formally charged Friday in the June 22 death of Marie Pierre, The Star Press reports. The Tabbs were being held without bond Saturday in the Delaware County Jail, where records do not indicate whether they have an attorney.

On Wednesday, two of Charlene Tabb's siblings, a 14-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl were charged in juvenile court with aggravated battery. Police said Marie was "unresponsive and not breathing" when they were called to the Tabb home.

Muncie police Sgt. Jimmy Gibson testified at a Wednesday hearing in juvenile court that Marie's body had more than 80 "abuse marks."

A probable cause affidavit says an autopsy conducted at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital showed the girl had a "baseball-sized open wound," about 3 inches deep in her left buttocks that was found "packed with paper towels." Gibson testified that the boy called his 16-year-old sister into a room to view the injury, apparently after he inflicted it with a hammer.

Department of Family Services investigators told police they had found no indication Marie had been treated by any physicians.

Initial hearings for the Tabbs are scheduled for July 8.

The little girl's body is being returned to Florida for burial, authorities said. Her family members are said to be from the Miami area and Haiti.