CPS spokeswoman: 3-year-old Lufkin child abuse victim released from hospital

Elisiah Phibbs (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Elisiah Phibbs (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Ashley Wingo (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Ashley Wingo (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - According to a Child Protective Services spokeswoman, the 3-year-old girl who was allegedly severely beaten by her mother's boyfriend was discharged from the Houston hospital where she had been receiving treatment for her injuries Friday.

Shari Pulliam, a CPS spokeswoman said the 3-year-old girl is walking now and is recovering well. The girl was placed in the custody of her maternal grandmother.

The 3-year-old's prematurely born sibling is still in the hospital. However, once the baby is released from the hospital, she'll be placed with the maternal grandmother as well.

Pulliam said the children's grandmother passed the CPS home study. The child's mother, Ashley Wingo, 25, and her boyfriend, Elisiah "Big Boy" Phipps," 35, both of Houston will have absolutely no access to the children, Pulliam said.

Up until Friday, the 3-year-old girl had still been listed as being in serious but stable condition in a Houston hospital. In a previous story, Pulliam said even though the child didn't have internal injuries, the doctors and medical staff treated the child for a serious infection that was caused by her injuries.

"This is a really extreme case, but I've noticed physical abuse cases have gotten more extreme, and it seems to always be the boyfriend," Pulliam said in a previous story. "There have been really bad cases with women letting their boyfriends discipline and abuse their children."

Phipps and Wingo are still being held in the Angelina County Jail. Phipps was charged with third-degree felony injury to child, and Wingo was charged with state-jail felony injury to a child. The couple's bail was set at $50,000 each.

According to Lt. David Young of the Lufkin Police Department, it appears the child's injuries have occurred over an unknown period of time, as the girl had old and fresh scars all over her body.

Young said the investigation started Tuesday afternoon after someone called police and advised they look into a situation involving the abused child.

Young said police arrived at the 900 block of Picardy Lane at 12:31 p.m. and Phipps, 35, answered the door and said nobody else was home. Young said officers felt he was lying and were able to talk to letting him inside, where he led them to a bedroom closet, where the child and her mother, Wingo, were hiding.

According to the on-view narrative written in the arrest affidavit, the child had multiple injuries: "multiple streaks of broken skin with swelling on the child's back, bottom, and legs consistent with being hit with a switch or cord, multiple abrasions approximately 2 inches in diameter on the child's bottom with broken skin, swelling and bruising to the child's hands, swelling and bruising to the child's feet, abrasions to the child's hands, bruising and red marks to the child's back, and streaks of broken skin to the child's abdomen. Officers observed that some of the abrasions appeared to be infected and had decaying flesh."

According to the affidavit, Phipps told detectives he had been using belts, switches and shoes to discipline the child. He said he did it in response to bad behavior and "spanking" her six to 10 times a day. He said he knew she needed medical attention but continued to discipline her anyway.

Wingo told detectives she had seen Phipps strike the child with a belt on multiple occasions but she never reported Phipps to law enforcement nor would she seek help or medical attention for her daughter.

According to the affidavit, the child was taken to a Lufkin hospital and later taken to a Houston hospital.

Pulliam said the couple had just moved to Lufkin earlier this month. CPS had investigated a case when they lived in Houston following a complaint. But they took the child to a doctor, who found no marks or bruises on the child.

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