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Mother charged in biting girl

A Boone County woman is facing a felony child abuse charge after allegedly biting one of her four young children.

Tabitha Lynn Harper, 28, of Bloomingrose was arrested Wednesday afternoon near her home after deputies found evidence she had harmed one of her children.

Boone Chief Deputy Chad Barker said deputies received a complaint from Child Protective Services regarding Harper and investigated.

The children's school notified Child Protective Services of their suspicions. 

The children -- three girls and a boy, ranging in age from 9 to 3 -- lived in the Toney's Branch Road area apartment with their mother.

Lt. David Sutphin said the woman's 6-year-old daughter had a human bite mark on the back of her upper left arm. Sutphin said Harper bit the girl.

"In the photograph of the kid's arm, you can actually see the bite marks, and it appears to be a bite from a human adult," Sutphin said. "The kids are really afraid of her."

The bite mark on the girl's arm could be covered by a shirtsleeve, the lieutenant said, but if she moved her arm the mark would be visible. The girl also had bruises and scratches on her body, Barker said.

Sutphin said the child was bitten about two days ago. The incident that led to the injuries is under investigation.

Barker said the allegations against Harper were "very disturbing" and included intravenous drug use in front of the children.

The chief deputy said officers went to Harper's home Wednesday morning to speak with her but that she ran out the back door as they approached the house. He said Harper ran into the woods to hide but was discovered and taken into custody by deputies.

The children were removed from the home.

Harper was charged with felony child abuse resulting in injury. She is being held at Southwestern Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850. 


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