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Child dies, two others hurt after being beaten in Benton County, Mo.; two suspects behind bars

Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 11:00 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 20, 2020 at 9:13 PM CST
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BENTON COUNTY, Mo. (KY3) - The Benton County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a four-year-old child’s death Sunday morning. Investigators say the child had been beaten, along with two others who survived.

A four-year-old girl died Sunday morning near Cole Camp, Missouri. Investigators responded to a home near Buckskin Lane around 1 a.m. Sunday.

“They found a deceased 4-year-old girl up in her bedroom. She was beaten from head to toe,” said Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox.

According to the sheriff’s office, the father told authorities his daughter “had been beaten, submerged in a pond, then left to freeze on the bank before being taken back into the residence.”

“[The father] is not a suspect at this time. It was the neighbors across the street who are right now, arrested for this crime,” said Knox.

Two others were also beaten and severely injured, including the mother of the child who died and the child’s two-year-old brother. Both are recovering at a hospital in Sedalia, Missouri.

Authorities arrested two in the investigation, including Ethan Mast, 35, and Kourtney Aumen, 21, of a neighboring residence. They face pending felony charges, according to a news release.

“It’s an ongoing investigation and there may be more charges pending for more people by the time we finish our investigation,” said Knox.

Knox believes this abuse has been going on for a couple of weeks and an instrument was involved.

”To see a child in any kind of distress is terrible for first responders. In something to this magnitude, with a severe beating the child went through and the trauma she went through, it is very traumatic for everyone involved,” said Knox.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the incident and says more arrests are possible. We will update as more information becomes available.

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