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AN eight-year-old girl was found “floating facedown in a tub with puncture wounds to her head in a blood-soaked bathroom.”
Brett Hallow, 30, and his girlfriend Sarah Hallow, 28, are facing single counts of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for their alleged roles in the death of his daughter Autumn, PEOPLE reported.
The couple has been in custody since Friday and are being held without a bond.
Cops arrived at the couple’s apartment last Thursday and found Sarah performing chest compression’s on the child’s body, according to charging documents obtained by the Star Tribune.
Police said that Autumn’s fingers were blue and detected abrasions and “pin-like” marks on her forehead, alongside blood in the bathroom, the documents alleged.
The couple told the cops that they found the girl face-down and partially submerged in the tub and that they moved her to the bedroom in an attempt to revive her, according to the documents.
However, an autopsy showed that Autumn had puncture wounds on her head alongside abdominal and brain bleeding. Her hips and hands also showed signs of bruising and she had atrophied muscles and significant hair loss.
The autopsy also noted that her fatal injuries pointed to her being asphyxiated, along with wounds to her head.
“Based on the condition of [Autumn’s] body, law enforcement believed [she] had been deceased for some time,” the charging documents read.
Investigators alleged that the pair physically abused Autumn inside of their apartment – and often tied the girl up if she misbehaved, according to the documents.
The couple also allegedly withheld food from the girl, resulting in her weighing just 45 lbs when she died.
During the investigation detectives spoke to the couple’s six-year-old son, who alleged that his parents would tie Autumn up with a belt before putting her in a sleeping bag and only leaving her head exposed.
He added that they would use a shirt to tie her hands behind her back and that Autumn would be forced to sleep while she was restrained after “she is being bad”, the documents said.
The documents also alleged that the couple would punish the girl if she urinated on the floor or in her clothes, or trying to get food.
The couple’s 10-year-old daughter also said that Autumn would be tied up to prevent her from accessing medications.
However, the couple have allegedly denied ever tying the girl up.
Autumn’s mom, Kelsey Kruse, said that she last saw her daughter in January and that she was in good health.
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She also told cops that the couple did not allow her to see Autumn due to fears over coronavirus, the documents alleged.
In a Facebook post just two days after he daughter was found dead, Kruse wrote that the couple “have given me and my family a permanent scar. You took something we will never get back. … I hope your other children know what you did, and I hope they grow up knowing that their sister saved them.”
A separate post read: “Your father kept you from me for several months, and he then took your life. I hope you know how much I tried to get you. … All of your siblings were lucky to have a sister like you.”