Lifestyle & Human Interest

Grandma Calls Cops About Missing Granddaughter. Cops Find 5-Year-Old Locked Under Stairs


In the blink of an eye, children can get hurt. It’s easy to understand why failing to keep a child safe is almost every parent’s worst nightmare.

Fear of them being kidnapped, getting lost, or extremely ill is a constant worry. It is our job to make sure they stay safe, and while that might sound easy enough, accidents can happen anywhere at any time.

But for some parents, keeping their children safe is not their priority. Thankfully for the child of two — to put it bluntly — monsters, she had a step-grandmother who was attune that something was terribly wrong.

It all started with a call to the police.

The concerned grandmother, Linda Benskey, hadn’t seen her loving step-granddaughter in several months. Her worry was quickly growing.

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Finally, Benskey called police and asked them to check on North Carolina home belonging to her step-son to make sure the little girl named Angel was alright.

What police discovered shocked the town.

They found the 5-year-old locked in a closet under the stairs. She was covered in filth and had been badly beaten and burned.

Police had also asked the child’s former caregiver, Tracy Harrell, from a local daycare to join them in the search for her.

When Harrell saw Angel, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Her little hands were shaky,” Harell told Fox 8. “Her hair was shaved, but what wasn’t shaved was pulled out in knots, so she had bald spots all over her head.”

“Her face was dirty and cut up. She had bruises around her neck.”

The little girl who once had bouncy blonde curls and big blue eyes was almost unrecognizable.

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Police were not sure how long she had been under the stairs. When Harrell asked Angel when the last time she had eaten, the little girl’s response was “I don’t remember.”

Harrell joining the police officers in their search proved to be a smart decision, as the caregiver provided the young girl with a sense of comfort and security after such trauma.

“There was never a day when she left and she wouldn’t say, ‘I love you miss Tracy,’” Harrell recalled from her time as her caregiver.

After the girl was rescued, Harrell said, “She clung to me and wrapped her arms around me. I had her laying here and she kept saying ‘please don’t leave me, please don’t leave me.’”

Thankfully, police were able to locate her before it was too late. Her father, Adam Byrd, and girlfriend, Crystal Carnahan, were charged with child abuse, neglect, and assault with a deadly weapon.

The family is now working to gain custody Angel — both her biological mother, Holly, and Benskey’s brother and wife. The DSS case worker who was originally assigned to the little girl’s case has resigned from her position and her supervisor was terminated for “grossly inefficient job performance.”

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