Mother arrested for allegedly mutilating baby's genitals

Source: Troup County Sheriff's Office
Source: Troup County Sheriff's Office
Troup County Sheriff's Office and Jail Facility, Source: Taylor Barnhill
Troup County Sheriff's Office and Jail Facility, Source: Taylor Barnhill

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM)  - An infant is the victim of a gruesome mutilation, and the suspect is her mother.

Troup County investigators have arrested a woman they say mutilated the genitals of her ten month old daughter.

It's a case deputies say they never thought they'd see. Sgt. Chad Mann with the Troup County Sheriff's Office told News Leader Nine, "We were notified by DFACS of a man who filed a report saying that he was granted temporary custody of an infant -- about ten-months-old -- and as a relative was changing the child, they noticed a possible case of genital mutilation."

Troup County investigators tell us the suspect, 35-year-old Melody Onyonyor, appears to have performed a type of female circumcision on her young child. Mann said, "At that point they notified Troup County Investigators and after that we had the infant taken to the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta where they checked the baby out to make sure everything was okay and to see if there were signs of female genital mutilation."

The baby was examined by a children's hospital in Atlanta where doctors determined that there had been some form of surgical removal of the baby's clitoris.

Mann told News Leader Nine the infant is otherwise healthy and is now out of Onyonyor's custody, "The child is with the father per the judge until the investigation is complete."

The Department of Family and Child Services in LaGrange tells us the suspect had three other children, but they cannot reveal where those children are at this time.

Onyonyor is being held in the Troup County Detention Facility.

"Right now she's facing cruelty to children in the second degree and female genital mutilation," Mann added.

Onyonyor will have her first court appearance Friday, at which time a possible bond will be set.

We asked investigators if this was a case of child violence or if it was part of a cultural exercise. They didn't wish to comment since its still under investigation by DFACS and the Troup County Sheriff's Department.

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