Emmaleigh Barringer was murdered in what West Virginia police have called the most brutal case of sexual assault they had ever seen, and now the reeling family members of the 9-month-old girl are speaking out.
Barringer died on Wednesday, two days after the baby’s mother found her naked and bloodied body in the basement of their home. Police allege that 32-year-old Benjamin Taylor, the boyfriend of the girl’s mother, was responsible for sexually assaulting the girl and then leaving her helpless and alone.
On Thursday morning, shortly before authorities upgraded the the charges against Taylor to include murder, Emmaleigh’s family released their first public statement on her death.
Benjamin Taylor's arraignment has begun. He's now charged with the murder of a 10-month-old girl. pic.twitter.com/Mc6nAnomaw— Natalie Price (@NatalieWTAP) October 6, 2016
The family confirmed reports of Emmaleigh’s death.
“At this time, we regret to say that the injuries sustained from the attack on our child, Emmaleigh Elizabeth Barringer, have resulted in her death,” the family said in a statement released to WV Metro News.
The family went on to thank the Jackson County police for their prompt investigation, which family members said they believe “points directly to Benjamin Taylor as the person responsible for this heinous act.” They also extended appreciation to the doctors and staff at the hospital where the girl was taken before being declared brain dead.
They also released a statement on Emmaleigh Barringer’s alleged murderer, Benjamin Taylor.
“Finally, we would like to assure anyone with any doubt that this crime against an innocent child was solely perpetrated by a monster who had disguised himself as a caring and supporting friend.
“Emmaleigh’s mother and surviving siblings were victims in this and are guilty only of placing trust in the hands of a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.'”
Other family members spoke out in the hours after Emmaleigh Barringer died, with many harboring deep anger toward her alleged murderer.
“The only way justice is going to be served is if he feels every ounce of pain that he caused her too,” Danielle Adkins, the baby’s cousin, told WSAZ.
Police have not released too many details on the murder of Emmaleigh Barringer, but did say officers arrived to a 911 call on Monday to find the baby’s mother holding her, with Emmaleigh covered in blood. They found more blood on clothing that had been in the basement near where she had been found.
Benjamin Taylor allegedly told investigators that he took the girl down with him to do laundry, but blacked out and did not know what happened next. Police said Taylor’s story changed many times, and they later found blood on him that they believed to belong to the infant.
Adkins said Emmaleigh’s mother held the infant as she died on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t enough that he took her innocence, he had to take her life too,” Adkins said of the alleged murderer.
Police may not have known about the girl’s sexual assault at first, with report indicating that doctors brought it to their attention.
“After speaking with Dr. Steve Eshenhaur at Jackson General Hospital, a detective learned that the child suffered trauma to her lower extremities, and bruising to her face and head,” WCHS reported on Monday, a time when the infant was still listed in critical condition at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital in Charleston.
Benjamin Taylor Update: New Details Emerge After Man Charged For Brutal Rape And Murder Of 9-Month-Old Emmaleigh... https://t.co/bT20jdH2u7— Inquisitr News (@theinquisitr) October 6, 2016
Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs called the murder of Emmaleigh Barringer the worst case of sexual assault he had ever seen, WCHS reported.
“If I could ever answer that, then I shouldn’t be around,” he said of the potential motive for the attack. “I don’t know of any normal human that could fathom what would possess somebody to do that.”
Police added on Wednesday that they do not believe any of Emmaleigh Barringer’s siblings had been harmed. Sheriff Tony Boggs also said the girl’s mother is not accused of any wrongdoing.
[Featured Image by Emmaleigh Barringer’s Family]