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Edgewood Army Sergeant Mom Charged with Abuse of 4-Year-Old Who Weighed 28 Pounds

The Aberdeen Proving Ground soldier is accused of burning and malnourishing her 4-year-old stepdaughter, according to reports.

Harford County Sheriff's Office
Harford County Sheriff's Office
Army Staff Sergeant Monique Latrise Beneke, 27, of Edgewood has been charged with child abuse in connection with injuries to her 4-year-old stepdaughter.

The child weighed 28.6 pounds when she was taken into custody—lighter than more than 95 percent of her peers—with minor burns on her hands and "grab marks" on her body, while her bedroom was filled with containers of urine-soiled clothing and a urine-soaked bed, WBAL TV reported.

The child had been locked out of the bathroom because her mother once found her drinking from the toilet, according to ABC 2 News.

The 4-year-old and her siblings said the girl was punched in the stomach for trying to steal food and was also burned with a lighter, according to WBAL TV.

Beneke has three other children younger than nine, according to The Aegis, which reported the woman was being held without bond because she was considered a flight risk. Her husband was reportedly flying in from Hawaii, where he was stationed, and she worked until being reassigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground in August.

Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Marts said Beneke had previously been investigated in Hawaii for abuse, according to The Aegis.

Beneke was charged with first and second-degree child abuse, first and second-degree assault and neglect of a minor from Aug. 1 to Nov. 27, according to court documents.

The concern of a social worker at Edgewood Elementary School was what prompted the Harford County Sheriff's Office to investigate the case, according to WBAL TV.

Beneke is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in Harford County District Court on Jan. 2.

Child abuse in the military is "an epidemic," Army Times reported this summer, when it released findings showing that child abuse cases in the Army increased 40 percent from 2008 to 2012. It also found that 118 Army children had died from starvation, beatings and torture.

In response, the Department of Defense announced in November a group to focus on preventing and responding to child abuse/neglect and domestic violence for the next year.
Elizabeth Ferguson December 30, 2013 at 04:26 AM
My name is a Elizabeth Lynn beneke mother of fay Marie beneke the child involved in the child abuse case with her stepmother Monique beneke the solider who abused her stepdaughter ... Fay was taking from me two years ago and I have not seen her since her father Richard beneke cut off all contact with me after he gave me permission to talk to fay while they was living in Hawaii with Monique BC she was telling me all the time that she wanted to come home ... my family and i sent her a box of gifts for Valentines day last year and I was told I was never allowed to do anything like that ever again and there would be no more phone calls and several months later they tried to force me to sign my rights away to her and BC I refused and told them that I wanted my daughter back in my life they blackmailed me with child support and I can prove it !!! I have emails from both telling me to leave them be that fay needed nothing and was well taking care of it and when they wanted me to sign her away to them they told me do this or we will make u pay and of course being that it's my child and I birthed her I told them I would pay childsupport IM not a deadbeat mom... I have never been to court for me and my ex husbands divorce or child custody it was done illegally through the Hawaii court system I have never been served or provided with any document !!! I found out tonight a midnight about the child abuse case involving my daughter and am reaching out to any one that is will to help I want her back if she was that much of a burden the why did she not just give her back to me when I begged her too besides hurting my child!!! Plz feel free too look up my Facebook page it's under my maiden name Elizabeth Ferguson I live in Charleston SC and have a child and one one the way and more than able to take care of fay!!! 843_259_6093 is my phone number text me if u have any advice
Elizabeth Ferguson December 30, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Oh you can look back on my Facebook and see I write her almost everyday in my status box and see it dates back months and months I just want my daughter home

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