(ReliableNews.org) – According to the National Children’s Alliance, about 600,000 children were victims of either child abuse or neglect in 2021 alone — and those are only the reported cases. The group predicted that the figure was probably higher, yet unreported because of the state of the country at that time. The most vulnerable children were those under two years old, and those in the first year of their lives account for about 15% of all victims. Usually, these cases don’t make headlines, but a recent incident was so horrific that it gained widespread attention.
On October 6, WDHN reported that police in Dale County, Alabama, arrested a couple for abusing their children by burning them with a blowtorch. The kids were aged 9, 7, and 4. Lieutenant Caroline Jackson said that Ashleigh Ableman and her boyfriend Howard Anderson allegedly took a blowtorch to the children many times, leaving severe burns. She said there were also other signs of abuse.
The discovery was made after police executed a search warrant on the couple’s home on October 5. Officers quickly arrested the pair, charging them with torture/willful abuse of a child. The New York Post reported that sentence is a felony in Alabama. Ableman and Anderson are both being held without bail in Dale County. It’s unclear who initially alerted the Sheriff’s Office, DCSO investigators, and the Department of Human Resources (DHR) to the situation.
DHS is currently caring for the children, who are recovering from their burns. Jackson said the kids were open with investigators, telling them about some of the abuse that occurred. The police didn’t reveal any further details about what the children endured while in the home.
If found guilty, the suspects could spend up to 10 years in jail and pay a fine of $15,000. The investigation is still ongoing, and the couple will stay behind bars at least until they make their first appearance in court.
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