A foster caretaker has been charged with child abuse, accused of using a comb to repeatedly strike a young girl in her care.

In the complaint filed against Sneads resident Dawndrell M. Martin, authorities with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office say the Department of Children and Families had contacted the agency about a possible case of child abuse involving a 5-year-old girl that had been placed in Martin’s care as a foster child.

DCF had noted that the child had come to her day care center with multiple injuries, including bruises on her face, back, neck and head. During a subsequent medical examination, DCF told local authorities, the child had made a disclosure alleging physical abuse. The youngster told investigators that Martin had struck her with a comb on her face, under her arm, and on her back.

Martin denies the allegations, asserting during talks with law enforcement officials that some of the child’s injuries were self-inflicted and denying knowledge of how some of the other injuries occurred.

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