Police seek boyfriend of woman accused of abuse

Associated Press Published: July 12, 2012

Julie Hamilton, a spokeswoman in the Jackson County prosecutor's office, said the probable cause statement in Benson's case won't be released until he is arrested.

Online court records don't list a lawyer for Benson. After his initial interviews with police, he was released while authorities continued an investigation that culminated in the two counts of child endangerment.

"The first thing he did when he got out of jail was to come over here," Coppage said last month. "You could hear him ranting and raving because he was mad we were talking to the press and the police and everything. I don't care about his anger because I believe he knew."

Coppage said last month the couple had a volatile relationship and she sometimes could hear them fighting next door. Her phone wasn't accepting new messages Thursday.

According to the probable cause statement, the mother told police she didn't let the girl leave the house because the child is malnourished and she would "get in trouble if someone saw her."

It's unclear how much time the child spent in the closet. In the probable cause statement, she told police that her mother put her in the closet "a lot."

The couple's two younger children have been placed in protective custody. The 10-year-old girl was hospitalized after police found her, but it is unclear if she is still in the hospital.

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