News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


Police Detail Worst Case Of Child Abuse Ever Seen

Police Detail Worst Case Of Child Abuse Ever Seen

Elisabeth Crossley | Ruth Cassidy

Bonner County Daily Bee via YellowBrix

December 08, 2010

COEUR D’ALENE, ID— A mother and grandmother face serious felony charges for the reprehensible conditions in which they forced twin toddlers to live.

Elisabeth Crossley and her mother Ruth Cassidy are accused of abuse and neglect at the worst level Coeur d’Alene police say they have ever seen.

Officers arrested Crossley Sunday when her daughters were found living in squalor.

Their grandmother, Cassidy, was taken into custody Tuesday morning.

Now KREM 2 News is learning about the gruesome crimes with which the two are charged.

The girls were covered in their own excrement, with no clothing or diapers on, and bruises all over their bodies.

The abuse is so extreme, officers suspect the girls have brain injuries.

A welfare check revealed heinous conditions at an apartment in Coeur d’Alene. Police found the 2-year-old girls with “feces caked on their arms, legs, hands, feet and even on their necks.”

When the officer walked into the room he says,“I was unable to breathe and began retching. I started to vomit and had to leave the room immediately to choke it back.”

The officer was sent to the house after a passerby, Anthony Brown, noticed the girls laying in filth. Brown says he had nightmares the last couple of nights as a result, and described it as the worst sight he’s ever seen in his life.

The police report shows the mother, Elisabeth Crosslely, and grandmother, Ruth Cassidy, made excuses for the deplorable conditions, saying the girls refused to wear clothes or diapers and misbehaved.

Their mother told police the children would “ram their own bodies into their furniture” and “ram their own heads into walls.”

However, police describe the girls as docile and even silent as they played.

One neighbor says she is appalled to find out about the abuse. She couldn’t believe a mom and grandmother could do something like that to their own children.

The girls are in state protective custody. It wasn’t until they were examined at the hospital that police saw the extent of their injuries.

Reports show both girls had bruises and infected sores all over their bodies.

The officer says it appears they were whipped and extremely dehydrated. One nurse who examined the girls says, “Both children exhibited signs of physical abuse from a ‘skilled abuser,’ who was hurting the girls in locations that would always be hidden by their clothing while in public.”

Police say Crossley and Cassidy argued with police Sunday. Crossley told one officer he was ruining their family and asked, “What about Christmas?”

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.