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Charleston sisters charged with texting disturbing photos of infant to child's father

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two sisters are facing felony charges after staging pictures of a baby in danger and texting the photographs to the child's father.

Sisters Cecile and Meleny Kranwinkle are charged with felony child neglect as well misdemeanor charges of obscene and harassing telephone calls, said Sgt. Tony Hazelett of the Charleston Police Department.

Charleston police received a call from a man in New York who said someone was texting him pictures of his 4-month-old baby with someone holding a knife to the infant's throat and what appeared to be blood on the child's clothing.

The baby's mother, Meleny, 23, and her sister, Cecile, 22, live in an apartment building on Lancaster Avenue. Charleston police officers went there at 3 a.m. Friday to check on the children. The baby was found unharmed along with two more young children who were also fine.

The disturbing pictures were found on the cell phone of the baby's aunt, Cecile Kranwinkle. The baby's shirt was also found, but the red substance was not determined to be blood, Hazelett said.

"We did a child protective services referral and the children were placed with another family member," Hazelett said.

Both sisters were taken to South Central Regional Jail. Cecile remained incarcerated on Friday morning. Meleny was released on bond.


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