SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police announced Thursday the arrest of three suspects on multiple counts of child abuse.
Laurie Hackett, 32, Randee Coon, 31, and Kerri Pavlica, 52, all face 19 counts of aggravated child abuse following their arrests earlier this week.
The abuse investigation began early on Tuesday when police received reports that two children, aged 6 and 17, were being treated for multiple injuries at the Primary Children’s Hospital.
Salt Lake City Police Detective Michael Ruff claims the two children are siblings
“I know they knew the family of the two children, they were left in their care for about four weeks in those four weeks, that’s when this abuse seems to have happened,” he said. said Det. Strawberry.
According to the police report, the 17-year-old suffered from a swollen scalp, multiple bruises to his face, black eyes, bruises to his back, two puncture wounds to his back, fractured vertebrae and injured ribs.
The 6-year-old had similar injuries, including a burn to his face, laceration to his kidney and liver and swelling around his pancreas.
The teenager told detectives that Hackett, Coon and Pavlica held him down and “punched him in the groin, stabbed him with a knife and beat him with a pipe”.
Coon admitted to punching the victims and witnessed Hackett and Pavlica do the same.
Detectives said Hackett claimed any contact of a victim’s face with a torch was “accidental”, but said Pavlica bound one of the children’s wrists with rope.
“These are pretty serious and scary injuries that these children have suffered,” Det. Strawberry.
Lauriann Thorpe is the executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah. The non-profit organization has been serving the community for 40 years, with the sole purpose of preventing child abuse and neglect in Beehive State.
“Sometimes we feel like the harm done to children comes from strangers,” Thorpe said.
However, Thorpe says that’s usually not the case.
“Almost all the time when kids are hurt by adults, it’s someone they know love and trust from,” Thorpe said.
Police added that the children had been in the custody of the three suspects for four weeks.
“The allegations of abuse and injury in this case are both disturbing and tragic,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said. “I am very proud of our patrol officers, detectives and our Special Victims Unit who worked so quickly to identify, locate and apprehend these suspects.”
The children remain under the care of doctors as their injuries are considered serious and will require further medical attention.