By Calvin Palmer
Three people appeared in court yesterday charged with felony child endangering after a six-week-old baby girl was found with her two of her toes chewed off by rats.
Pike County prosecutor Rob Junk says the baby’s toes on her left foot were gone when sheriff’s deputies went to the mobile home west of Piketon, on Sunday, after receiving an anonymous tip.
Judge Cassandra Bolt-Meredith set bail at $210,000 each for Joseph Gunter, 33, Tina Gunter, 29, and Todd C. Trent, 18, the boyfriend of the baby’s mother but not the baby’s father.
Noting the public outrage over the case, Junk said: “Probably the safest place for them right now is jail.” The suspects are being held in the Ross County jail at Chillicothe.
The baby, Leann Lowe, is being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, for extensive bites to her left foot and back, apparently inflicted over an extended period. Her condition is described as fair.
Children services officials are expected to seek permanent custody of the child after she is discharged from hospital. They have already removed the 17-year-old mother’s two-year old from the mobile home. As yet, no charges have been brought against the mother.
The Gunters had been staying in the mobile home recently, Junk said.
For pictures of the three charged, see the Lancaster Eagle Gazette.