• Clay County parents of 7 arrested for child abuse

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax


    Clay County parents, Stephen Terry and Misti Tomlinson, were arrested for child abuse and that child is now living with other family members. Now child welfare workers are looking into six other children.

    “I’ve never seen him get mean or get ugly,” the suspect’s father, Anthony Terry said.

    Both were arrested on child abuse charges.

    Terry’s father was in disbelief about his son’s arrest.

    The arrest reports state that the child has suffered physical and mental abuse.

    Deputies said he was hit with items including belts and shoes to the point of visible injury.

    More Clay County news: Report: Clay County man buys 24 Krystal burgers, stabs brother

    “I’ve never seen them hit a kid, they have a church they’re attending, those kids are sweet,” Terry said.

    The report also said that the child was forced to stay in the bathroom for extended periods of time and feared the bathroom because of rats.

    “I know nothing about no latches on no doors, I don’t know nothing about that,” Terry said.

    Terry’s father said his son reached out to him about a month ago and asked him if the child could live with him, but wouldn’t tell him why.

    "Could he come over here, can he come to my house for a while, something was going on,” Terry said.

    The Florida Department of Children and Families launched an investigation into the couple on Tuesday and the child who was allegedly abused is living with other relatives.

    The couple is out of jail.

    Terry said he didn’t have anything to say about his arrest.

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