true crime

Couple who cable tied their 4-year-old to her bed as punishment arrested for child abuse.

Deep purple bruising, a blackened eye, a swollen right cheek, scars, dried blood and ligature marks from being restrained.

These were the injuries police detailed finding on a four-year-old girl.

Clarence Reed, 47, and Jennifer Denen, 30. Image City of Hot Springs Police Department.

A four-year-old girl who was verbally abused so often by her mother and step-father that when police asked her what her name was, she responded “Idiot.”

The couple, Clarence Reed, 47, and Jennifer Denen, 30, both of Hot Springs, Arkansas in the US are now charged with domestic battery, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering welfare of a minor.

A staff member at a child advocacy group alerted police to the malnourished child.

When police went to the home police found Denen's six children Denen, one of them - an 11-month-old her child with Reed.

Among the children was the four-year-old girl, malnourished and with a black eye, a swollen face, dried blood on her head and ligature marks from being tied up.

The little girl was hit with a wooden paddle. Image Facebook.

After they were arrested the girl's mother, Jennifer Denen told police that she had seen Reed strike her daughter with a plastic bat and said she’d heard Reed frequently call the child “Idiot.”

She told police that after the beatings she did not seeking medical care for her daughter.

Reed admitted to police that he hit the little girl but instead of a plastic bat, he told police, he had used a 2cm-thick wooden paddle reports Ozarks First.

Reed also admitted cable-tying the four-year-old to her bed punish her for climbing the kitchen cabinets.

The little girl pictures with her younger sister. Image: Facebook.

When an officer asked the little girl what her name was she told him.


Reed confessed he did call her “Idiot,” but in his defence, he told police he only meant it as a joke.

The two younger children have been taking in by authorities while the four older are being cared for by their father.

Denen and Reed remain in custody.


For help: Lifeline 13 11 14. Kid's Helpline: 1800 55 1800.