Police: Family beat teen causing miscarriage; body placed on BBQ grill
(CBS 11 DALLAS-FT. WORTH) DALLAS, Tx. – Police in Dallas arrested four people who they believe beat a pregnant teenage relative so that she would have a miscarriage. A fifth person was also arrested for the sexual assault of the minor.
During an afternoon press conference Dallas Police Department Deputy Chief Gil Garza said, “We believe we arrested all the right people… identified them all.”
The victim recently told authorities that she became pregnant in 2012, at only 13 years old, after being sexually assaulted. In addition to the four arrests for engaging in organized criminal activity, police also arrested Robert Joseph Cayald for aggravated sexual assault of a child. The 22-year-old is related to the victim.
Police say the girl, now 16 years old, finally came forward with the allegations. Speaking about the teen Deputy Chief Garza said, “We want to commend the victim for her bravery in coming forth to report this unbelievable crime.”
Two men and two women, all also related to the victim, are facing first-degree felony, organized criminal activity charges. They have been identified as Cedric Jones Junior, 27; Sharon Jones, 45; Lonnell McDonald, 27; and 25-year-old Cecilia McDonald.
The girl told authorities that it wasn’t until 2013, when she was approximately eight months pregnant, when the family realized she was expecting. Given the girl was underage and allegedly assaulted by a relative, the family feared Child Protective Services (CPS) would be called. The family members accused of organized crime then, according to police, “took matters into their own hands” to try and end the pregnancy.
In the first attempt to abort the baby, the teen was given multiple doses of birth control pills, Plan B morning after pills and cinnamon tablets. When that didn’t work the group collaborated and Garza said they began, “physically assaulting the victim to the point where the victim gave birth.”
According to a police affidavit the teen’s arms were pinned to the floor while suspect Lonnell McDonald sat on her stomach “repeatedly bouncing up and down.” Others kicked and punched the girl in the stomach. At one point the assault was so vicious and the teen was crying so loudly that suspect Sharon Jones allegedly gave the girl a cushion from the couch and told her to “shut up” and cry into the pillow so a relative in another part of the house wouldn’t hear.
During the assault suspect Cecilia McDonald allegedly yelled at the teen, “Bitch, you ain’t about to get my kids taken away from me,” while suspect Lonnell McDonald was laughing. According to the affidavit, the group began beating the teen at approximately 5:00 pm. and didn’t stop until approximately 11:00 pm. — when the group saw blood seeping through the teen’s pants.
After the assault the victim started throwing up and having severe cramps. When she went to the restroom, around 1 am., she said she had an overwhelming urge to “poop” and then began pushing uncontrollably. It was then she said she delivered what she believed to be a stillborn baby. Suspect Cecilia McDonald allegedly entered and took the baby from the bathroom in a plastic mop bucket.
At no point did anyone seek medical assistance for the teenager who said she passed out after being forced to get into the bathtub. The girl said when she regained consciousness she was only given iron pills, because she had lost massive amounts of blood.
The suspects then allegedly took the aborted baby and put it on a “metal charcoal grill and attempted to burn it,” but the attempt failed.
Two days after the assault suspect Sharon Jones allegedly contacted suspect Cedric Jones Jr. and offered to pay him $25 to “take care of the rest of it.” Jones allegedly put the child’s remains in a green plastic bag, placed it in the trunk of his car and “stashed” the baby in an unknown location. Dallas police say they are still searching for the remains of the stillborn child. “We are looking… we’re still trying to gather evidence. We’re still looking for additional evidence in the case,” Garza said.
Police say the victim came forward with the help of a person who witnessed the beating two years ago, but at this time that witness has not been charged. Deputy Chief Garza said, “The fact that it took a long time to assist in bringing the victim forward is still something that we’re looking into. More charges may still come forward.”
Police also said that all of the suspects in custody, not just the witness, could face additional charges as the investigation continues.
When asked about the victim’s current living situation Garza said, “She was living with relatives at the time, but she no longer lives with them. She’s living with a friend.” The teenager is now under the supervision of CPS.
Sexual assault suspect Robert Cayald is being held on $25,000 bond. Bail for the four adults accused of organized crime has been set at $150,000 each.
Dallas police are asking any witnesses or anyone with information about the assaults to contact them at 214-275-1300.