‘There is absolutely no excuse’ neighbor reacts to Huntsville aggravated child abuse arrest

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville Police continue to investigate the death of a 3-year-old boy in Huntsville.

Emergency crews responded to a 911 call on Tuesday at 125 Maple Ridge Blvd for a 3-year-old boy described as "unresponsive." Huntsville police say paramedics were unable to revive the child and he passed away at Huntsville Hospital.

The two charged with aggravated child abuse are 34-year-old Frederick Antony Frink and 36-year-old Ashley Elizabeth Catron. They have been confirmed as the biological parents of the 3-year-old who died and a 4-year-old boy described as in critical condition.

Cassandra Riley lived across from Frink and Catron for almost seven years, and she's known Frink, or T.J. as she likes to call him, for even longer.

"Seeing him hold my newborn, I have pictures of him just with the biggest smile. Happy... loving," said Riley.

She says Frink was social and friendly, but her and other mutual friends lost touch with him.

"When Ashley came it slowly over time became less... he would have to sneak out of the house to say hi," explained Riley.

She says she hasn't spoken to Frink in two years, but she still can't believe that he's in jail charged with aggravated child abuse.

"There is absolutely no excuse," said Riley.

The Huntsville police department says its child abuse investigation is ongoing.

Frink and Catron appear to have a clean criminal record in the state of Alabama.

In April of this year, the husband and wife filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. The couple is scheduled to be in court on August 5th for a bankruptcy hearing.

Riley says she didn't know what all the couple was dealing with, but for the past several years she's been concerned about them.
"Who knows what went on there behind those doors, but you could tell there was something," said Riley.

As prosecutors work this case and police continue the investigation, the former neighbor just wishes the couple would have asked for help before going down this path.

Riley says if she could talk to Frink, she'd want to tell him she loves him but she wishes he would have reached out to her, and she wishes she could change the past.

On Monday, The Huntsville Police Department received an update on the 4-year-old and say he is doing much better.

They tell WHNT News 19 that the investigation on the couple is still ongoing.

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