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Jacksonville couple arrested after allegedly abusing 5-year-old child to death

A Jacksonville couple has been arrested after allegedly abusing a 5-year-old child to death.

A Jacksonville couple has been arrested after allegedly abusing a 5-year-old child to death.

At approximately 4:30 on Thursday, October 18, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office responded to the home of Michelle Cannimore, 26, and Jonte Harris, 26, in response to an unresponsive and unconscious 5-year-old.

Cannimore told police she sent the child to the bathroom after she "wet" herself. She later heard a "thud" in the bathroom and when she went in to check on the child, she found her unresponsive in the bathtub face down in the water.

Cannimore said she then called 911 and the child was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

JSO says a medical exam revealed the child had multiple injuries throughout her body in multiple stages of healing, indicating long-term abuse. Further examinations revealed the child also had severe head trauma not consistent with a fall. An exam also revealed injuries from severe physical abuse along with four adult human bite marks on the child's body.

In a later interview with detectives, police say Cannimore admitted her original story was a lie and that Harris has been abusing the child since early August. Around 6:30 on the night of the incident, Cannimore said Harris got mad at the child and began hitting and punching the victim in the face and head. The child was knocked unconscious and was set on the couch moaning, unresponsive but still breathing.

Cannimore said she and Harris ate dinner and Cannimore left for work at around 10 p.m., leaving the child on the couch still unconscious. Cannimore came back home around 3 a.m.

Police say the child was ultimately left on the couch with little to no care for more than seven hours.

In an interview with detectives, Harris told police he became very upset because the child was not being respectful and not listening to him. He told police she became unconscious after falling to the ground.

Cannimore said when she arrived back home from work around 3 a.m. and saw the child on the couch, Harris carried her to the bathroom to try to wake her up with water from the bathtub.

911 was called when two realized the child stopped breathing.

The child was pronounced dead Friday, October 19, a day after the incident.

This incident is still under investigation and Cannimore and Harris have been arrested and transported to Jacksonville's Pre-Trial Detention Facility.

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