Teen girl found stabbed, beaten, malnourished in Florida woods; couple arrested

Kris and Melissa Peters (Polk County Jail)
Kris and Melissa Peters (Polk County Jail)

DUNDEE, Fla. (WFLA) – A Dundee man is speaking out after making a disturbing discovery in the woods, a badly beaten teen who was hiding in the woods and calling for help.

Now, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a horrible case of suspected child abuse.

According to court documents, the 17-year old girl was malnourished, underweight and had multiple wounds on her body.

An exam revealed the 17-year old has a stab wound, a broken shoulder, infected sores, bruises and suffered from malnutrition, resulting in hair loss and lower than normal weight.

Melissa Peters, 33, and 45-year-old Kris Peters are charged for abusing the girl. Their relationship has not been disclosed to keep the girl’s identity private.

In an interview with detectives, the girl said she had being beaten for several months with a metal pipe. She also said she was stabbed with a pocketknife, and kicked with metal-studded boots.

The girl said she had to to steal food while her abusers were not looking. She told investigators that she was not allowed to use a restroom and because of this she soiled herself and had not bathed since March.

According to documents, the pair gave similar accounts of how the girl received her injuries, and neither reported trying to get medical or mental health treatment for her.

Both are facing charges of aggravated child abuse, negligent child abuse with great bodily harm and failure to report child abuse and neglect. They are being held without bond.

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