Woman used belt to severely bruise 7-year-old over several months, troopers say

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 11:44 AM EDT
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NUTTER FORT, W.Va (WDTV) - A Harrison County woman has been charged after troopers say she used a belt to severely bruise a seven-year-old child over the course of several months.

Troopers with the Bridgeport Detachment of the West Virginia State Police investigated a report of child abuse involving a 7-year-old boy and 31-year-old Elizabeth Bills, of Nutter Fort, from Feb. 16 to Aug. 21, 2023, according to a criminal complaint.

Troopers say they obtained a forensic interview with the boy at the Hero’s Haven Child Advocacy Center, witness statements, and images of the child’s injuries throughout the investigation.

During the interview with the victim, he said Bills “whips him hard with a belt” and that it “leaves bruises when he’s in trouble.”

The victim also said during the interview that Bills will sometimes bruise his back by using the metal belt buckle “so it hurts a lot,” according to troopers.

Court documents say the victim further said that Bills “had left bruises which were red, blue, and black,” adding that when he apologizes for something, she does not forgive him while hitting him.

The victim also said the bruises would normally stretch from his buttocks up his back and would occasionally be on his legs, shoulders, arms, and head, according to the criminal complaint.

Also during the interview, the child allegedly said Bills “made him stay home from other family members … to hide his injuries” and that he was “told not to show his injuries but he did anyway.”

The victim went on to say during the interview that Bills once “caused his arm to bleed when she was trying to whip him” in the bed and “did not even care when he tried to show her,” troopers say. Bills also allegedly “whipped him for trying to wake her up” with a belt buckle.

Troopers say a witness notified law enforcement and provided photos of two sets of injuries after becoming aware of the abuse, one from February and another from June.

The criminal complaint says the witness told troopers of a video they saw of Bills interrogating the victim while he cried in a corner and the victim telling them about being hit in the head, which caused bruising, and that Bills did not take the victim to receive medical treatment.

The witness also alleged that the victim did not go to daycare for a week due to the injuries.

Bills has been charged with three counts of child abuse causing injury. She is being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $75,000 bond.