'Horrific' child abuse case sends two adults to jail

27-year-old James Watson is charged with Unlawful Neglect of a Child.

KERSHAW COUNTY (WACH, AP)-- Kershaw County deputies have arrested a couple they say abused a 4-year-old girl so much, she suffered two broken arms, a broken leg and went without medical attention for months.

The girlâ??s mother, 24-year-old Catharine Ammons, and her live-in boyfriend, 27-year-old James Watson, face multiple charges including neglect.

Sheriff Jim Matthews says the two admitted to abusing the girl, and that they rehearsed with her about what to say if someone asked about her injuries. Investigators also say Ammons admits to not doing anything to stop the abuse.

According to Matthews, the 4-year-oldâ??s injuries occurred over several months and that some of her broken bones were starting to heal without proper medical attention.

Matthews says the girl is in intensive care with a lacerated liver and internal bleeding at an undisclosed hospital. She is in custody of the Department of Social Services.

She needs surgery but doctors say sheâ??s too malnourished right now to handle the operation.

"This is pretty horrible. I mean, she could die from this," said Matthews.

In addition to physical damage, there can also be mental signs of abuse.

"Some children are withdrawn, other children are overly friendly, you know, going to strangers and showing no fear," said Paige Greene who worked for the Department of Social Services for two decades.

Greene says if you suspect a child has been abuse, it is better to be safe than sorry, and you should contact authorites immediately.

"From what I've heard, the DSS case workers are really upset about this situation," said Greene.

Late Monday afternoon, according to Sheriff Matthews, a judge denied bond for the couple on charges of inflicting great bodily injury to a child and allowing another person to inflict great bodily injury on a child. Bond was set at $100,000 for each suspect on the neglect charges.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)