A registered nurse is facing multiple child abuse and neglect charges after authorities found “suspicious injuries” on her three adoptive daughters, including a 7-year-old who died last year, officials said.
Gina Emmanuel was arrested Tuesday on multiple counts of aggravated child abuse causing great bodily harm and child neglect causing great bodily harm, an arrest report said.
The 50-year-old nurse is accused of using belts, a brush, a back scratcher and other objects to physically abuse the three young girls, according to the report. Emmanuel allegedly tied the kids’ hands and bodies to furniture, tied socks around their eyes and burned their hands and fingers on the stove as punishment for when they wet the bed.
Emmanuel began fostering the three girls in 2014. She adopted the kids – ages 6, 7 and 12 – along with their 4-year-old brother in 2017.
The report said the investigation into Emmanuel began when the 7-year-old died on Nov. 3, 2018. She had been found unresponsive at their Miami-Dade home and pronounced dead at the hospital hours later.
While investigating the girl’s death, homicide investigators found suspicious injuries on her body, the report said.
When the other two girls were examined, they were found to have “numerous old injuries all over their bodies including healed loop marks from beatings and healed burn scars on their hands and fingers,” the report said.
The girls told investigators Emmanuel had “maliciously and intentionally beat them and the deceased victim,” the report said.
On one occasion, Emmanuel grew enraged when two of the girls – hungry in the middle of the night – ate bread that was meant for Emmanuel’s biological son. Emmanuel allegedly woke up the 12-year-old daughter to watch as she beat the two younger girls. She continued to hold both victims’ hands down on a hot stove repeatedly until they were burned, the arrest report said.
The victims’ hands were permanently disfigured as a result of the burning, the arrest report alleges.
Emmanuel is also accused of not seeking medical care for the kids, which ultimately led to the 7-year-old’s death, the report said. The girl had been suffering from flu-like symptoms that eventually progressed into pneumonia and sepsis, the report said.
In addition to the physical injuries, Emmanuel caused extreme “psychological trauma” to the victims, the report said.
Emmanuel was booked into jail, and ordered held on $122,500 bond. Attorney information wasn’t available.
“It’s hard to imagine the pain and suffering these children endured at the hands of this defendant,” a prosecutor told Judge Jacqueline Woodward at a bond court hearing Wednesday. “The facts of the case are sickening.”
The children were in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. Further charges for Emmanuel could be forthcoming, the Miami-Dade Police Department said Wednesday.