An Indiana babysitter allegedly put a 3-year-old girl, identified as Raelyn Camp, in a washer and then a dryer, in a horrific act of child abuse that authorities believe may have been motivated by a video of the same thing being done to an animal.
As WNCN (Goldsboro, North Carolina) reports, Missy Camp says that on Sunday, June 2, she left Raelyn and another girl, her 5-year-old daughter, in the care of a teenager who had babysat for the girls before, without any problems. When she returned home, she found her house trashed — two toilets, a window, and a TV were broken. Food and empty soda cans were strewn about. Drugs, including Xanax, were also found in the Garrett, Indiana, home.
But the worst thing she discovered was her daughter, Raelyn, covered in bruises.
— Cute Black Babies (@Lilblackbabies) July 7, 2016
Making matters worse, Raelyn appears to show signs of sexual trauma, according to her mother. Authorities intend to run tests to see if she had been raped.
“It’s hard to explain. I go home. I’m upset, but at the same time I feel like I can’t really sit and cry and I need to keep both of my kids happy, not as depressed about it.”
Missy was able to piece together what happened thanks to her older daughter. The girl, whose name has not been released, told Missy that the boy invited three of his friends over, and that the boys started drinking and doing drugs.
Eventually, the boys allegedly filled up the washing machine with water and then put Raelyn in it. They then put her in the dryer and turned it on several times, according to the young girl. DeKalb County Prosecutor ClaraMary Winebrenner says that the boys may have been imitating a similar crime involving an animal, with the video posted on YouTube.
Missy says that the boy tried to explain Raelyn’s injuries by saying she had fallen off of a merry-go-round at a park.
Missy’ sister, Madison Camp, in a Facebook post that his since been deleted — in fact, her entire account seems to have been deleted — took to social media to share the story of her niece’s alleged abuse, using the hashtag #JusticeForRaelyn.
— Protest Pictures (@ProtestPics) July 8, 2016
“She’s my niece. She’s like everything to me. She’s literally like my life. I love her so much. I just want her to have the clarity she deserves.”
Raelyn’s story quickly spread on social media; within a few days, the original post had been shared over 180,000 times, according to WANE (Fort Wayne).
That’s a problem for Garrett Police Department chief Roland McPherson. He called it “unfortunate” that people are spreading the story of an alleged crime before all the facts are in.
Winebrenner, who confirmed that a 14-year-old juvenile is in custody while police investigate, echoed similar sentiments. She said that Missy’s claim that “nothing can be done” because Raelyn’s alleged abuser is a juvenile is false, although she did confirm that the alleged abuser’s name can’t be released because Indiana’s juvenile code protects juvenile offenders’ privacy. She also warned of the “danger of spreading or believing information on Facebook that has not been verified.”
As authorities investigate this horrific crime, Missy Camp said that she and her family are trying to move on. She says her once happy-go-lucky daughter is not herself.
“She’s quiet. Like usually she’s very hyper, running around, going crazy and all that but lately she just kind of wants to sit on the couch and cuddle. She doesn’t eat as much.”
Do you think it was appropriate for Raelyn’s family to share the accusations against Raelyn’s babysitter publicly before Indiana authorities have had time to investigate?
[Image via Shutterstock/Sinisha Karich]