Maintenance workers discover starving toddler with hands duct-taped together

HOUSTON, TX – A two-year-old girl was discovered bound with duct tape by maintenance workers who were servicing a dishwasher in a local apartment, according to Houston police. The nonverbal toddler was found to have suffered physical, psychological abuse and neglect, as indicated by the injuries she sustained including a brain bleed caused by head trauma. Medical experts reported that the child was malnourished, suffering from a kidney injury, and weighed as much as an average one-year-old.

Medical professionals indicated that the child’s life was in danger and she might not have survived the night had she not been taken to the hospital. The maintenance staff reported to the police that they had received a work order on November 28, 2023. While on duty, they heard the child cry and found her lying on the living room floor with her legs bound by duct tape.

The toddler was covered with a blanket, and upon removing it, the workers saw her feet were tied up. They recorded the scene with a photo and a video before leaving the apartment to alert the authorities.

Three individuals, Toniesha Deshae Perkins, the child’s cousin; Kenry Joseph Flukers, Perkins’ boyfriend; and Mya Jhari Breaux-McGruder, the child’s aunt, were arrested and charged with injury to a child and unlawful restraint of a person under 17. All three were living in the apartment together at the time of the incident, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Flukers denied to police that he had ever seen the child with duct tape around her ankles, claiming it was only around her hands. He justified this by stating that the girl would sneak food and her hands were bound to prevent her from doing so. There were five other children living in the home who appeared to be in good health.

When confronted with the photo of the girl tied up, Perkins blamed it on her children, claiming that they tie each other up. However, two six-year-old twins interviewed by authorities said they saw their parents, Perkins and Flukers, duct tape the two-year-old because she “wastes” food. They also claimed that the toddler would be punished if she removed the duct tape, and that Perkins and Flukers allegedly used a belt to discipline the girl.

The toddler had been living at the residence for the past three months and was in the full care and custody of Perkins. Her mother lives out of state, according to court documents.