PHIL CAMPBELL, Ala. (WHNT) – A Franklin County mother and her boyfriend are behind bars after a 1-year-old girl was found unresponsive in the couple’s home.
“The scene itself and the evidence that we have gathered at this point is just sickening, to know that a child would have to go through this,” explained Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver.
The sheriff went on to say it’s one of the worst cases of abuse he has ever seen.
At 3 a.m. Tuesday, paramedics were called to a home on Railsplitter Road in Phil Campbell for an unresponsive child. When they arrived, the infant had already died.
“At this point it is very obvious that there is some child abuse that had went on with the child,” said Sheriff Oliver.
Deputies arrested the infant’s mother, 20-year-old Hailey Renfroe and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Shannon Gargis.
Renfroe is charged with aggravated child abuse, Gargis capital murder. Sheriff Oliver said Gargis is charged with capital murder because the child he is accused of killing was under the age of 14.
Investigators said Gargis was home alone with the infant when the incident happened. The mother was at work.
Authorities believe the mother, Renfroe, knew there was physical abuse going on for some time.
“That child needs a voice,” said Oliver. “And I hope we can do everything we can to make sure they are prosecuted.”
Sheriff Oliver said Gargis has cooperated with investigators and admitted to causing the child’s death.
Both Hailey Renfroe and Shannon Gargis remain in the Franklin County Detention Center awaiting an initial court appearance.
The infant’s body has been sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for autopsy.