Tallahassee couple arrested on child abuse charges

Tallahassee couple arrested on child abuse charges
Posted at 6:51 AM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 03:40:03-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A Tallahassee couple was arrested on child abuse charges after authorities determined their three children ages 3, 4 and 5 had been bruised and cut by a belt and slapped.

Both Eliseo Perez Marrero, 24, and Nailah Shara Wiggins Perez, 22, were arrested Thursday and remained in the Leon County Detention Center on Friday.

Eliseo faces three counts of cruelty toward a child and aggravated battery on a child. Nailah faces three counts of child neglect with great bodily harm.

On Nov. 25, 2017, an investigator with the Department of Child and Families checking on the children saw a red mark on one child's face that seemed to be made by a belt and bruises and marks on the other two children, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The children received the bruises and marks while playing outside, the couple told the DCF investigator.

On Nov. 26, 2017,  DCF removed the children from the couple and placed the three in foster care.

The children received a medical examination on Dec. 12, 2017, and the medical team provided investigators with a medical report and forensic photographs. The medical staff interpreted the injuries as having been inflicted by hand and by a belt.

The children suffered injuries over much of their bodies.

Eliseo Perez committed torture "over an extended period which caused great bodily harm," the TPD investigator wrote.  

Nailah Wiggins Perez denied knowing anything about any injuries to the children during an interview on Dec. 19, 2017, a Tallahassee Police Department investigator wrote in a court document.

She said her husband had moved out of their house and recently asked to see the children. She said she left the children with him and ran some errands.

Returning home, she said, she noticed a mark on one child's cheek but her husband told her the child had fallen outside.

At the end of the interview, Nailah admitted when she saw the marks on the children she did nothing, the court document said.

After his wife's interview that day, Eliseo told the TPD investigator his sister had called the Abuse Hotline, denied hitting the children and admitted to overseeing their discipline.

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