New Orleans, LA — A LaPlace grandmother has been arrested and booked with child abuse in connection with allegations that she, along with the child’s aunt, physically abused her 8-year-old grandchild, who authorities said was hospitalized in May after being severely burned, beaten and starved.
St. John the Baptist Parish authorities announced Wednesday (June 24) the arrest of Davana Tripps, 42, as part of a continuing joint investigation with the State Police and the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office into the treatment of the little girl, whose mother had reported her kidnapped after a custody dispute.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said the child’s mother, who lives in St. John Parish, reported the girl missing May 7. She told authorities that the child’s father, who lived in Calcasieu Parish and who had been granted custody in 2013, has been in jail since March 2014, and that his mother and sister had the girl.
The woman said she was granted custody in June 2014, but said the two women would not give her the child, nor tell her where she was.
Tregre said the child was found at Kerrian Clofer’s home in Calcasieu Parish on May 14. The girl was taken to a Lake Charles area hospital for treatment for injuries consistent with severe child abuse and neglect “to include fractured bones, burns, and failure of organs due to malnutrition and starvation”, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
Clofer was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Parish jail.
The girl is now with her mother and is “doing very well”, Tregre said.
Authorities said the investigation in St. John the Baptist Parish revealed that Tripps “severely abused” the child while she was at Tripp’s home in the 1600 block of Yorktowne Drive in LaPlace.
Authorities have not released specific details of the accusations against Tripps, who they say lives with her husband and their two juvenile sons. The boys were said to be in good health, but have been temporarily placed in state custody, authorities said.
Tripps was booked her with aggravated second-degree battery, second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, aggravated kidnapping of a child, and false imprisonment. She remains in custody under a $153,500 bond.