A man from Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged over the weekend after allegedly burying his 6-year-old daughter alive.
According to WTAE-TV, in September social workers noticed the daughter of John Edward Kraft had bruises on her face and body. Child abuse allegations began to circulate before police became involved and opened up an investigation into the family and their home. When police spoke to the little girl’s 8-year-old brother, he told officers one night their father made the 6-year-old stay in a hole — and when she came back the next morning she smelled “like sewage”.
The girl herself also spoke to law enforcement and told them of the horrific abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. She said Kraft would beat her with his belt and his arm (which has a metal rod in it). It’s alleged he would often “bury her in the yard when he believes that she is lying” — using a shovel to cover the child with dirt and mud. According to a district attorney, he also choked the 6-year-old “to the point she would pass out”. Sickening…
Greene County DA David Russo said in a statement the situation is truly “barbaric” and he intends for John to be punished “to the fullest extent” for his alleged abuse:
“The allegations are that this child was beaten brutally, that the child had bruises all over her body, that she was choked to the point that she had passed out. She was buried in a hole as punishment. She was thrown in a hole overnight. Her head was slammed off the wall and slammed off the floor. This is a barbaric situation. My office has always taken a strong stance against child abuse. We will not tolerate it in our county, and this individual will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“We will not tolerate it in our county” — but had they been notified of the abuse long before anyone did anything? According to KDKA, landlord Larissa Fonner says she tried to contact social services several times and nothing was done.
In an interview with the outlet on Wednesday, she described the awful things she witnessed in the home:
“It makes me feel disgusted and sad for the kids because I feel like a lot of different people failed them. I remember I had walked over to their house once, because I was always over here checking up on the kids, bringing food, bringing clothes, presents, toys, and this specific time, before I got to the house, I could hear them inside and I could hear John yelling at the kids and the kids crying and what sounded like him hitting them.”
So, so sad. Fonner also mentioned noticing cigarette burns on both the boy and the girl. She said she called social services multiple times and left many voicemails but “never heard back” from anyone. Larissa described the guilt she feels surrounding the entire situation — but she did all she could:
“I feel like a lot of people fail them and that even maybe myself, I feel like I could have done more. But when I saw something, I said something, and it was out of my hands at that point … It makes me feel disgusted and sad for the kids, because I feel like a lot of different people failed them and that if someone would have stepped in sooner, or if someone maybe would have taken reports a little serious, it could have been avoided.”
So heartbreaking, those poor children…
John has been charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, simple assault and endangering welfare of children, as well as single counts of strangulation and false imprisonment of a minor. He is scheduled to go before the court on November 1, but it’s unclear if he’s entered a plea. He’s currently being held in Greene County Jail on a $125,000 bond. Luckily both of the children made it out okay and are currently in foster care.
Our hearts are with the little boy and girl, we hope they’re able to heal and get the justice they deserve very soon.
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