Quitman parents charged with abusing their children - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Quitman parents charged with abusing their children

Lt. Willie Charles Clemons, Quitman PD. Lt. Willie Charles Clemons, Quitman PD.
Denise Reynolds Denise Reynolds

Two Quitman parents are in jail tonight and their children are in state custody after they were charged with multiple felony counts of child abuse.

Police arrested the parents after their three little boys showed up at school with bruises all over their bodies.

Rafael Lopez-Niz and Alfa Chavez were taken into custody Wednesday after police say their three little boys showed up to Quitman Elementary with bruises and marks all over their bodies.

"This is the worst case I've ever seen," said Lt. Willie Charles Clemons, Quitman PD.  

Investigator Clemons says he doesn't think this was a one time incident. "By the marks, it appears to be happening over a period of time."

But neighbors say they were shocked to hear the news.

The family's front yard is covered in toys, neighbors say they would often see the parents outside playing with the boys.

"They were like a normal family; they would go over there and play in the yard and the dad would ask if the kids can come over there and play together. They seemed like a typical normal family," said Denise Reynolds, whose grandchildren would often play with the 5, 6 and 8-year- old little boys.

Clemons says once the teachers noticed the bruises on Wednesday they notified the Division of Family and Children Services. He says without the help of teachers it's hard to hear about these cases. "The teachers see the kids more than we do and most of the time they are one-on-one with the kids."

Reynolds says she never saw any signs that they were abusing their children. "They love their kids, and the mama would be out there watching them. But like I said you never know what goes on behind closed doors."

The parents are both charged with three felony counts each of cruelty to children.

Investigators say more charges may be filed.

The parents are in the Brooks County jail without bond.

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