Police have a St. Clair County man in custody after a 2-year-old girl was beaten so badly that she may have to eat from a feeding tube for the rest of her life.
Kraig A. Monroe, 24, of 110 Princeton Drive near Belleville, was charged Wednesday with aggravated battery to a child.
Monroe was watching his girlfriend's daughter while the girlfriend was at work, said St. Clair County Sheriff's Department Capt. Steve Johnson.
Monroe is an unemployed roofer, and the girlfriend works in a nursing home.
Monroe is accused of punching the child repeatedly in the stomach, while she sat in an Elmo baby chair, to silence her crying during the course of about four days, Johnson said.
"How can you describe it other than hell?" Johnson said.
The girl was vomiting, lethargic and going in and out of consciousness when she was taken by her mother to Memorial Hospital in Belleville about 10 a.m. Monday. By 4 p.m. that day, the girl was transported to Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis.
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