MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (8/2/2018) - The parents of a 3-year-old Mt. Morris Township girl who died on Monday morning officially are charged with killing her.
George and Destiny Bingaman, age 32 and 23 respectively, are charged with felony murder, first-degree child abuse, torture and two counts of child abuse in the presence of another child.
Both parents face a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole if they are convicted. They were arraigned Thursday afternoon and remained in custody.
Police and medical first responders came to the family's home in the 4400 block of Elms Road around 10 a.m. Monday for reports that 3-year-old Emma Rose Bingaman was not breathing.
She was unresponsive with they arrived and rushed to Hurley Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police noted numerous injuries all over Emma's body, including bite marks, bruises and gouges, said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
"She was a very underdeveloped, apparently undernourished child, but her body had dozens if not scores of markings all over it -- gouge marks, pinch marks, bruises," he said.
She was born premature at 27 weeks and suffered from a variety of developmental delays and disabilities as a result.
"We think that factored into the reason that she may have been singled out for the abuse," Leyton said.
Investigators say Emma likely was abused for about two years.
"Around the time she was age 1, she had some seizures," Leyton said. "There was medical care at that time. The investigation reveals that after that, there was no further medical care."
Autopsy results on Emma are not complete, but he is confident the Bingamans are to blame for her death.
"We know that the child sustained some terrible bruising in the area of her femur, suggesting that she had been if not hit, then certainly slammed against some hard object," Leyton said. "It's just a terrible case."
Mt. Morris Township Police Chief Terence Green said the case was the worst child abuse he's seen in his career and has been difficult for his officers to investigate.
"It's just terrible to observe the injuries this child suffered," he said.
The Bingamans' other two children ages 1 and 4 appear to be physically uninjured. Leyton's office is working to get them placed in a foster care home while the legal proceedings against their parents continue.