Three women were arrested and charged after a horrific case of child abuse was discovered in Camden County, New Jersey: Authorities say a 13-year-old girl was forced to wear a shock collar meant for a dog around her neck.
Neighbor Karen Villec said it was on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 1, when she heard her doorbell ring repeatedly.
“I open the door and she hands me this dog collar. And I go, ‘Is your dog loose?’ She said, ‘No, they shocked me! They shocked me!’ And she put up her neck and I saw the two marks from the dog collar,” said Villec, adding that the collar was vibrating in her hand.
Villec says she brought the girl inside her home and tried to comfort the 13-year-old while her husband called 911.
Police say the girl was taken to Jefferson Hospital in Stratford for treatment, and the Division of Child Protection and Permanency removed her from the home.
It is alleged the three forced the girl to wear the shock collar and deprived her of necessary amounts of food and clothing.
While the three women denied the abuse when interviewed by detectives, police say another resident of the Mennig home told them the dog collar was forced on the girl as punishment when she was “bad.”
Villec adds that she suspected the home was an unpleasant environment, but never imagined this. “You can hear in the winter, through the windows, always yelling and fighting,” said Villec.
“I was horrified,” said Villec. “My husband and I haven’t been able to sleep for days on end. You know, what can we do for this poor little girl?”
Authorities arrested Kelly, Rebecca and Rachel Mennig and charged them with aggravated assault, child abuse and neglect. The three suspects are currently locked up in the Camden County Correctional Facility.