Someone had the strength to speak up when they saw a young girl suffering.

According to a report from our news partners at KWTX, the Department of Family Protective Services received a report of child abuse and alerted the Killeen Police Department Special Victims Unit on April 19.

The Complaint

Police began investigating the complaint, and on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 arrested Ratasha La Shawn Martinez, 45, for injury to a child.

Martinez is accused of severely abusing a young, 8-year-old girl.

The Police Report

According to Public Affairs Officer Ofelia Miramontez:

"Through the investigation, it revealed that the 8-year-old female victim was placed in the garage as a form of punishment because she had touched the food of another person in the household,” Miramontez told the Killeen Daily Herald.

“While the victim was in the garage, she became hungry and ate dog food. When the suspect found this out, the victim was assaulted."

Yes, this poor girl was so hungry that she even ate dog food to try and relieve her hunger pains. Unfortunately, it gets worse from there.

"The victim was also punished for soiling herself while being made to stay in the garage and had to stay in those conditions until she was allowed back into the house."


While Martinez was initially booked into the Bell County Detention Center on a charge of injury to a child with a bail of $200,000, she is no longer listed on the jail's roster.

After 5 months of investigation, one can only assume that she prepared for her arrest. Killeen police have not confirmed if Martinez is the mother of the 8-year-old girl, but online reports believe so.

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See Something, Say Something

Anyone who has a reasonable cause to believe a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited can make an urgent report by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.

Of course in the case of an emergency, never hesitate to call 9-1-1.

If you would like to make a report a situation that does not need to be investigated right away, you can go online to Texas Abuse Hotline.

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