An Army staff sergeant has been accused of severely abusing and neglecting her young stepdaughter, according to reports from a public defender and assistant state's attorney in Harford County District Court on Tuesday.
The child, who is almost 5 years old, was below 5 percent of the normal weight for her age and had severe burns on her hand, which her stepmother allegedly inflicted because the child stole food, assistant state's attorney Lisa Marts said.
The stepmother, 27-year-old Monique Latrise Beneke, of the 2000 block of Bayberry Road in Edgewood, was ordered held without bail during a hearing in front of District Court Judge Susan Hazlett.
Beneke has lived in Harford County since being reassigned to the Edgewood post from Hawaii in August, a public defender said.
The child gained three pounds after being placed in foster care last Wednesday, Marts said.