New information in death of three-year-old Bennettsville child

Atelia Hunt / Courtesy: Bennettsville Police

NewsChannel 15 has learned the North Carolina Division of Social Services was investigating a mother on suspicion of child abuse, prior to her child's death.

Bennettsville Police tell NewsChannel 15 the three-year-old and her mother were living in Robeson County, North Carolina three months ago.

Investigators say authorities with North Carolina DSS got phone calls that the little girl was being abused. Officers are waiting to learn the findings of that investigation.

In the meantime, detectives and state police went back to the crime scene on Pershing Street in Bennettsville Monday to gather more evidence. It's the home where police say three-year-old Edna Trinity Hunt was abused.

According to the incident report, the child had bruises all over her body, as well as burns to her vaginal area and buttocks. A post mortem examination showed the child had been abused for some time.

While officials don't have a final autopsy report to determine what killed Hunt, they say there is enough evidence to charge her mother and her boyfriend with homicide by child abuse.

Fourth Circuit Solicitor Will Rogers says the incident has impacted the entire community.

"Everybody in Marlboro County, in Bennettsville are upset about the case, and it's still a pending investigation, so I can't comment on any of the facts of the case, but anytime you have a child as a victim of the case, it does really get to you," said Rogers.

Atelia Hunt, 25, and her boyfriend Mike Huckabee, Junior, 29, are being held at the Marlboro County Detention Center without bond.

Child Protective Services has removed two other children from the couple's home, ages 5 and 7.

Bennettsville police headed to Robeson County to talk with relatives to get additional background information for the investigation.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services is also involved in the investigation.

For information on Domestic Violence and a number you can call if you or a loved one has been a victim, click here.